How to make a coronavirus facemask from an old t-shirt

11 May 2020, 14:21 | Updated: 14 May 2020, 08:38

A family wear facemasks outside Buckingham Palace
Facemasks are becoming an essential coronavirus item - so can you make them? Picture: PA

By Adrian Sherling

Reports suggest everyone in the UK will be asked to wear a facemask in order to ease the lockdown restrictions. But with masks difficult to find, here's how you can make your own.

The UK has been under lockdown restrictions for one month now and with the UK at a peak of coronavirus cases, there is a minimum of two weeks more staying at home.

Yesterday, the Chief Medical Officer told the Downing Street press conference that social distancing guidelines will have to remain in place for the rest of the year with many questioning whether facemasks will become an essential item to beat covid-19.

With the majority of Germany about to vote to make wearing a facemask in public essential, reports suggest that government advisers have told the UK that we should follow suit.

Here's how you can make your own facemasks as demand increases:

Method 1: Just a t-shirt

Cut 20cm off the bottom of the t-shirt and discard the top.

Next, cut a 15cm hole in the side, 2cm from both the top and the bottom.

That will leave you with two straps - cut them in half. You can now use those to tie the facemask around the back of your head.

Method 2: With elastic bands

What you need to make your own facemask:
- an old t-shirt, towel, scarf or something of a similar material
- two elastic bands

Cut your material into a square, around 30x30cm, although you can change that based on the size you require.

Fold up from the bottom to the middle and then from the top to the middle.

Repeat that - so fold again from the bottom to the middle and then the top to the middle. You will have a long strip of material.

Put your elastic bands around the strip of material on either end.

Then fold the material over the top of the elastic band.

Pick up the elastic bands and you can then hook them around to ears to create a cloth facemask.

Will everyone in the UK have to wear facemasks?

The scientific advice on masks has been mixed. At first, we were told that they didn't help and often led to people touching their face more often.

However, the advice is consistent on the fact that facemasks will stop you infecting other people if you do have coronavirus.

The government have recommended the use of facemasks on public transport, in shops and other places where social distancing guidelines are difficult to follow.

Nigel Farage thinks we should all be wearing facemasks. He told his LBC show: "The wearing of masks would stop the spread.

"If the wearing of masks means that we can start to open up then I think it would be a price worth paying."

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