Public Health England (PHE) and the UK Government have advised the wearing of a face covering that safely covers the nose and mouth on public transport and retail outlets. Individuals can choose to don a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.

A snood can help protect others from infection when worn correctly and the Group has bought 30,000 branded items – enough for two snoods per member of staff.

People already have to wear a face covering while using public transport in England (with Wales following suit on July 27) and new rules requiring them to be worn in shops and supermarkets in England come into force today (Friday, July 24).

They are already compulsory in shops and on public transport in Scotland.

Norse Group SHEQ Director, Jamie McDonald, said: “The safety of our staff has remained paramount throughout the pandemic and we hope many people will want to use the snoods as we all play our part in reducing the risks of the virus flaring up.”

He added it was essential that everyone continues to follow Government coronavirus advice. Remember that if you experience the onset of any of the most important symptoms of coronavirus, you and your household must isolate at home.

Coronavirus is transmitted through coughing, sneezing and speaking in proximity with another person. Social distancing, regular hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes is imperative to controlling the spread of the virus.

They are not, however, a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing.

A Norse Group issued face covering will, when worn correctly:

* cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
* fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
* is made of a material that you will find to be comfortable and breathable
* must be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged.

When wearing a face covering you should:
* wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser beforehand
* avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
* avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
* change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
* wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
* wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or hand sanitiser once you have taken it off.

If you require further information please contact Peter Sommerfield, Group Senior Health and Safety Manager, by emailing peter.sommerfield@norsegroup.co.uk