In the early days of the pandemic, many governments warned the public against wearing face masks for fear demand would leave frontline health workers without vital supplies and that it may lull people into a false sense of security. Some – such as the US – have since reversed that advice. The state of Utah has said it will provide a free face mask to any citizen who requests it. And other countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Morocco, Turkey and Germany have all made wearing masks in public mandatory. It is likely others will follow their lead as they ease restrictions.
But can face masks really make a difference in our battle against Covid-19?