Government guidance makes face coverings mandatory in shops from Friday, July 24 and Bristol City Council are launching a campaign to encourage people to abide by the new law.
The Are You Covered? campaign will see the mayor hand out masks in the city centre and people encouraged to post a photo of themselves wearing a covering with the hashtag #AreYouCovered?.
Marvin Rees, mayor of Bristol, will be joined by the director of public health, Christina Gray, cabinet members and council staff in the Galleries, Broadmead, Cabot Circus and the bus station to hand out more than 80,000 masks to shoppers and bus users. Masks have also been given to food banks across Bristol.
As well as giving out masks, the Are You Covered? campaign will teach people how to wear a face covering correctly, what can be used to make a face mask, and who is exempt from wearing them.
“I’m really pleased that shops and businesses are reopening however, Covid-19 is still very much with us,” says Rees. “As we still have no cure or vaccine, we must adapt to new safety measures.
“It’s important to wear a face covering in shops and on public transport so we continue to protect our community from the continued threat of Covid-19.”
People living in Bristol are also encouraged to take a photo of themselves wearing a face mask and tag the post with the #AreYouCovered? hashtag to be entered into a draw to win £100 of shopping vouchers from Broadmead Improvement District.
Covid-19 spreads predominantly through droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking.
These droplets can also be picked up from surfaces, if you touch a surface and then your face without washing your hands first, which is why social distancing, regular hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes is so important in controlling the spread of the virus.
The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.
“While we have been fortunate in Bristol to have low numbers of Covid-19 it has still made many people in our communities very unwell, and some have sadly died,” says Cristina Gray, director of public health. “We must therefore continue our efforts to stop the spread of the infection, particularly as we prepare for the winter months.”
Main photo: James Koch