As of 11 May, the UK government is advising people to wear “face coverings” in public to protect against coronavirus.

The updated guidance came about through in a new 50-page document outlining a roadmap to easing lockdown restrictions:

As more people return to work, there will be more movement outside people's immediate household.

This increased mobility means the government is now advising that people should aim to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet, for example on public transport or in some shops.

But what if you need to need to go out in public and you don’t have a face covering on you?

Don’t worry, as long as you have a sock (preferably new but hey, we won’t judge if it’s just been washed) and a pair of scissors, you can make your own.

TikTok user safiaaggoune (@2bfunkychick) uploaded the how-to video on 1 May and it’s been viewed more than 200,000 times.

The method is simple enough. Cut the bottom of the sock off from about the arch of the foot. Then cut the sock along the fold on the side (which would be the top if you were wearing them) and then make some slits on the side.

And voila, you have yourself a makeshift face cover.

The video was also uploaded to Twitter on Monday and now has over 1 million views.

People began posting photos of their own makeshift sock face coverings:

And one that didn’t quite turn out as planned:

While the sock masks aren’t completely effective in preventing someone from catching coronavirus, they may help in reducing the spread from infected people.

Professor David Heymann, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine warned:

[Masks are] only for the protection of others, not for the protection of oneself.

The government recommends a multi-pronged approach, combining “face coverings” with constant and thorough hand washing as well as social distancing of at least two meters.

At the time of writing, 32,065 people have died as a result of coronavirus in the UK.

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