He said masks had to be worn correctly, changed frequently and got rid of safely if they were to work properly.

He added: “Research also shows that compliance with these recommended behaviours reduces over time when wearing face masks for prolonged periods.”

Most experts agree the most effective technique to avoid catching a bug is employing good hygiene measures.

Dr Connor Bamford of the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast said: “Covering your mouth while sneezing, washing your hands, and not putting your hands to your mouth before washing them, could help limit the risk of catching any respiratory virus.”



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