Retailer seeks handy Islanders to make face masks for frontline staff

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A RETAILER has issued an appeal to handy Islanders for help in making masks to protect staff from Covid-19.

Picture: JON GUEGAN. (27916136)

SandpiperCI, which operates the Marks & Spencer, Morrisons and Iceland supermarkets, says sourcing masks is proving 'very difficult'.

The Island's medical officer of health Dr Ivan Muscat issued updated advice this week saying wearing masks was 'strongly recommended' to help slow the spread. It is vital, however, masks are kept clean otherwise they could be more harmful than beneficial.

Earlier this week, a SandpiperCI spokesman said they were issuing masks to all staff. The spokesperson has clarified they have stocks of disposable masks but are struggling to source re-usable ones.

A statement read: 'We are finding it very difficult to source the hundreds of cloth face masks we need to continue to protect our frontline supermarket colleagues. We have got disposable masks and have issued them but this risks putting further pressure on supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) to health and other frontline workers.

'We suspect fellow Islanders are having the same problems and are either going without, or, where possible, making their own.

'This is a shout out and plea for help. We need to continue to protect our amazing colleagues who have worked long and hard throughout this pandemic to help keep vital food supply lines open.

'Do you either know where we can obtain suitable quality cloth masks, or can you help us make some as quickly as possible to protect our front liners?'

'If you, or someone you know, have the skill, materials and equipment and are able to help, please get in touch or simply drop masks off at your local Morrisons Daily, Iceland, Marks and Spencer or Checkers Xpress store.'


The World Health Organisation's advice on masks has stayed the same - that only those who are sick or are treating the sick should wear one.

– If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected Covid-19 infection.

– Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing

– Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

– If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

Some videos have started to emerge online of people using certain types of predominantly female lingerie as makeshift masks. There has been no specific advice on the effectiveness of this strategy.

Jack Maguire

By Jack Maguire

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