There seems to be a lot of confusion around whether or not the general public should be using face masks and given that different countries have different advice, it is easy to see why.
Current guidance here in the UK is that it is not recommended that the general public wear masks. That advice is based on the fact that there is very little evidence that they make much of a difference and there is concern that wearing a mask could actually engender a false sense of security and lead to a degree of complacency about the importance of practicing respiratory hygiene.
In America, citizens are encouraged to wear masks. The rationale behind the US decision, is that there is some evidence the virus can be transmitted before symptoms develop, which is true. However, in the UK, experts advise us that if we are practicing social distancing properly, then this shouldn’t be an issue.
This advice is under constant review and I will update you if the situation changes.