DINERS should carry two masks when eating at restaurants to prevent the spread of coronavirus, a doctor has advised.
New rules that came into place on Friday mean that it is now compulsory to wear a face covering in restaurants, cafes and takeaways.
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But for those eating in or getting table service, then of course it’s not necessary – or practical – to wear one.
So, most people will arrive with a mask on, remove it to eat or drink and then put it back on.
However, Dr Sarah Jarvis warns that this could contaminate your face covering – and so diners should pack another to wear after their meal.
The medic made the comments in response to a bizarre TikTok video where a couple can be seen eating and drinking through their masks.
Dr Sarah, who is standing in for Dr Hilary Jones, said: “The whole idea is that you keep your mouth and nose covered at all times.
“Clearly that is not feasible if you are eating so you take your mask off and ideally you take it off from behind – do not touch your hands and face.
“Please do not just put it back on again when you leave the restaurant.
“The problem with that is you could contaminate your hands – and the mask may have virus on it if you put it down on the table – you could pick it up and transfer the virus.”
Presenter Kate Garraway, whose husband Derek Draper remains in intensive care following his coronavirus battle, asked Dr Sarah for clarity.
She said: “So what should you do? Have another mask or is it enough just to wash your hands?”
Dr Sarah responds: “No, you need to wash your hands as well but you need to have another mask.”
She also added that homemade face coverings ideally need to be three layers thick to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.
It comes after a researchers last released a horrifying video to demonstrate the importance of ensuring masks are at least two layers.
They found one layer of T-shirt material is a fairly effective barrier against coronavirus droplets expelled during speaking.
But two layers are “significantly better at reducing the droplet spread caused by coughing and sneezing”.
Three layers would be even better, the researchers said, and their study found surgical disposable masks offer the best protection of all.
Face coverings were made mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England.
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Before then, they were only compulsory on public transport and people were advised to wear them in places where social distancing wasn’t possible.
The public are advised by the Government to wash their hands before putting a covering or mask on or taking it off, and to avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth while wearing one.
Face coverings should be stored in a plastic bag until they can be washed or disposed of, the Department of Health said.