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New face mask rules and tips: this trick will help stop glasses from steaming up

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Hollie Richardson
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Face mask advice

With new face covering laws now in place across the UK, experts have shared a very easy hack for people who wear glasses.

Face coverings are now compulsory in enclosed public spaces such as supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, transport hubs, banks and takeaways, according to new government guidelines. People who flout the rules risk being fined £100. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) say masks can provide “a barrier for potentially infectious droplets” and have told governments to encourage mask wearing in areas where physical distancing is difficult “such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments.”

Although many people are criticising the UK government for taking so long to enforce this protection, it’s at least good to know action is now being taken. 

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There’s no denying that some face masks are uncomfortable and some people have found them to feel a little claustrophobic. But, when we think of all the health and care workers who have had to wear full PPE for hours on end throughout the pandemic, popping one on while we’re out and about to protect others is a small ask. 

But there is one additional annoyance about face masks for people who wear glasses: steam. 

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“How the hell do you wear a face mask without your glasses streaming up?” one Twitter recently asked on behalf of the bespectacled.

“Anyone got any tips on how to wear a face mask without your glasses steaming up? Help,” echoed another tweeter

Yep, people who wear glasses will know that as soon as you put on a mask and start breathing, your hot breath immediately fogs up the lenses. 

But fear not: there’s a very simple trick that experts advise.

Explaining what to do on Good Morning Britain last week, Dr Hilary Jones said: ‘”So you wear your glasses outside of the mask, so you don’t get the steam from your breath steaming up the inside of your glasses.

“And you have previously dipped [your] glasses in soapy water and allowed them to dry naturally.

“That gives a sort of anti-fog effect which is temporary, but it’s worth having anyway.”

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A report published in the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England also suggests washing glasses with soapy water to prevent them from getting foggy. 

The report says: “Immediately before wearing a face mask, wash the spectacles with soapy water and shake off the excess.

“Then, let the spectacles air dry or gently dry off the lenses with a soft tissue before putting them back on. Now the spectacle lenses should not mist up when the face mask is worn.”

It’s as simple as that.

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…