Double masking: What is double masking? Should I be wearing two masks?

Coronavirus vaccine: Anthony Fauci addresses UK dosage plan

Mandatory masks and face coverings were first introduced in the UK in the fight against coronavirus back in July. Experts in America have made claims saying that better face coverings are needed to curb more transmissible strains of coronavirus, in particular using two face masks at the same time instead of one.

Doctor Anthony Fauci, the USA’s top infectious disease expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, donned two masks during an appearance on the Today show.

He said that wearing two layers “just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective”.

There were also several instances of people wearing two masks instead of one at Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

Attendees including Amanda Gorman and Pete Buttigieg opted to wear two masks instead of one.

Elsewhere, others took a more lax approach to safety, with former President Bill Clinton repeatedly photographed with his single mask below his nose.

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What is double masking, should I be doing it?

Double masking typically involves wearing a medical-grade mask underneath a fabric mask.

In the USA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people wear masks that have “two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric,” face masks can block up to 70 percent of coronavirus particles.

However, there is little in the way of clinical evidence that wearing two is more effective than one.

David Heymann, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told the Guardian: “I understand that it might give the wearer a sense of control.

“But people need to be reminded that the reason they are wearing the mask, or masks, is to protect others.

“I am sure people find it reassuring but the eyes are still exposed.”

He continued: ““If you are wearing a mask with an inside lining and an outside lining, so two different materials, it may be the same as a double mask of a single thickness made from two different materials.

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“The best way to protect yourself still remains physically distancing, and washing your hands.”

Masks are mandatory in the UK unless you are exempt in most indoor settings.

This includes shops, train and bus stations, public service buildings and on public transport, among others.

Double masking is certainly not a part of these rules, and is unlikely to become so in the future.

However, wearing a good quality face mask that fits properly is the best way to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Other countries, such as Germany and Austria, have made it mandatory to wear medical-grade masks while using public transport and while in shops.

However, in light of the new variants, the World Health Organisation says it has no plans to change its guidance recommending fabric face masks for the general public.

This is because the new coronavirus variants are transmitted in the same way.

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