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Don’t be ripped off buying fake face masks online, council warns

PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 May 2020

A woman wearing a face mask mask in Oxford Street in London, as the Government's top scientist warned that up to 10,000 people in the UK are already infected with Covid-19.

A woman wearing a face mask mask in Oxford Street in London, as the Government's top scientist warned that up to 10,000 people in the UK are already infected with Covid-19.

PA Wire/PA Images

Beware of scam websites and social media posts selling face masks, the council has warned.

Fake masks that either don’t exist or are poor quality are being sold online, as people follow government advice to cover their mouth and nose on public transport and other places where social distancing is not possible.

The council’s trading standards team advise anyone buying a mask online to be wary of claims of high quality and good safety standards.

Some face coverings being offered online are poor quality and provide little protection.

Lead member for crime and community safety, councillor James Beckles said: “There are plenty of fake offers online offering people opportunities to purchase masks, which do not exist.

“Unfortunately, people pay for them and are robbed of their money.

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“We are encouraging everyone to be extra vigilant.

“Our advice to everyone is to follow government guidance, use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting masks on and after taking them off.”

Face coverings are not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare workers and others as part of their personal protective equipment (PPE).

These should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, or people in industrial settings, such as those exposed to dust hazards.

Face coverings should not be used by children younger than two or anyone who may find it hard to manage them correctly, including unassisted primary age children and those with respiratory conditions.

Face coverings can be made at home and should cover the mouth and nose.

Information on how to make them is available here.


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