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Covid-19

A BIG BLUE: The simple mistake many people make wearing disposable face masks

- June 24, 2021 2 MIN READ
face mask
Just remember: the blue side goes on the outside, the white side against your face. Photo: AdobeStock
Sydney is masking up once again following an outbreak of the Delta strain of COVID-19.

Yesterday the NSW government made wearing masks mandatory if you’re in a building other than your home, as well as when travelling on public transport.

Masks are now compulsory in Greater Sydney and the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas for all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, as well as at organised outdoor events.

You should also wear a mask in hire vehicles, taxi and rideshare services and waiting for public transport at a bus or light rail stop, train station or ferry wharf.

Thoughtful Sydney Rail staff at the city’s CBD stations have even been handing out disposable masks to commuters as they go through the turnstiles over the last two days.

But there’s a major problem: most people are wearing their mask inside-out.

The BLUE/COLOURED side on a disposable mask goes on the OUTSIDE

The coloured side is waterproof and softer white side has an absorbent filter to deal with coughs, sneezes and any other other things you exhale.

Getting it the wrong way around dramatically reduces the effectiveness of the mask.

Woman putting on medical protective mask

Put your mask on without touching it. Photo: AdobeStock

As for how to wear a mask properly, NSW Health has more information here.

But it should cover your nose, mouth and down over your chin. It needs to be tight against your skin too – if your glasses are fogging up, it’s not really doing the job. And avoid touching the mask once it’s on – or if you must make sure your hands have just been disinfected.

The latest face mask rules for NSW are here.

And don’t forget you should only wear a disposable face mask once and then put it in the bin.

Here’s Dr Jan Frizzell with advice on how to wear a face mask released in the middle of the pandemic last year.