Frequently Asked Questions

Please familiarise yourself with this information and advice. We will continue to notify you of updates or changes to this information as the situation develops.


Health & Safety

Protocol for the provision of reusable face coverings (masks)

What are our roles and responsibilities?

Ceredigion County Council has ensured that it has complied over and above with requirements set out in Government legislation and Public Health Wales guidance. The council is grateful to its employees for doing their best to abide with infection prevention and control procedures, reporting sickness absence, adhering to test, track and trace procedures and wearing PPE. However, now is not the time to become complacent, we need to ensure we continue to do the ‘right things’ which includes continuing to protect ourselves, our colleagues and members of the public we may come in contact with.

As employees for Local Government; we have a responsibility to lead by example and demonstrate our commitment to public and employee safety by complying with rules and regulations that have been put in place to protect everyone and that as an authority we are expected to enforce.

Who should wear a face covering and when?

All employees working in shared offices, in public facing roles, sharing transport or any other working environment where they are likely to come into contact with others must wear a face covering.

All employees who must wear a face covering at work will be provided with suitable reusable face coverings and must wear them.

Social care staff and those working closely with vulnerable children and adults must wear different respiratory protection due to the higher risk of infection and working in close proximity to others. This is classed as Respiratory Personal Protective Equipment and is different to the ‘face covering’ requirements for other council employees.

What is a ‘face covering’?

In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, a face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. Members of the public may use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.

Council employees, however, will be issued with appropriate face coverings which meet a minimum standard.

The Council is following the World Health Organisations recommendations for face coverings which include:

  • A minimum of 3 layers
  • A certain combination of materials to include:
  • Innermost layer made of absorbent material
  • Middle layer made of material with filtration properties
  • External layer made of material with water repellent properties
  • Made of washable fabrics that can be washed in warm water, 60°C, with soap or laundry detergent; face coverings must be washed frequently and handled carefully, so as not to contaminate other items.

I need a face covering, how do I obtain one?

You need to contact your service manager requesting a face covering. If this is the first request, you will need to give reasoning why, and may be provided two (one to wash, one to wear). The face coverings have a limited life cycle dependant on washing regimes, drying, use of chemicals, perfumes, make-up, frequency of donning and doffing etc., so once your masks start to wear or lose its secure fit, you will need to request replacements by contacting your manager.

Managers will need to identify who in your teams require the provision of reusable face coverings and contact to place an order.

How should I wear my face covering?

A face covering should:

  • cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
  • fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
  • be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
  • be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable
  • it should be able to be washed with at 60⁰C and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged

When wearing a face covering you should:

  • check the condition of the face covering before use, ensuring the elastic straps are in good condition, with no holes or wear to the face covering material and seams
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
  • avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
  • avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
  • change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession

When removing a face covering:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
  • only handle the straps, ties or clips and store in a clean bag or container
  • do not give it to someone else to use
  • wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed

How to dispose of a disposable face covering:

  • Disposable face coverings should be double-bagged and presented as non-recyclable waste
  • Bag it – either put the used face mask in a bag or in a bin, lined with a bag
  • Tie it – tie the bag
  • Bag it and tie it again – put the tied bag into your non-recyclable “black” bag and tie that bag before putting it out for collection
  • If you’re out and about, please use a litter bin

Personal Protective Equipment for Frontline Workers

I am a health/social care worker, what personal protective equipment (PPE) do I need if I am providing care and support for a vulnerable adult/individual?

Public Health Wales (PHW) recommends the following PPE ensemble for health/ social care workers:

  • Fluid repellent facemask
  • Apron
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection if there is a risk of splashing

How do I put on and remove (donning and doffing) disposable gloves and aprons?

All residential and domiciliary care staff have access to disposable gloves and aprons to use when providing personal care.

This equipment should be used alongside strict hand washing routines.

Please click on images below for appropriate donning and doffing.

Who should be given disposable fluid resistant surgical masks and eye protection?

This equipment is provided for health, social care and education employees identified as high risk from providing direct care or ‘hands on’ support to vulnerable individuals .

I have been provided with disposable facemasks, how do I use, remove and dispose of these?

Disposable Fluid Resistant Face masks (FRFM) are provided to staff social care staff and other employees identified as high risk from providing direct care or ‘hands on’ support to people/ children displaying the symptoms of high fever and new persistent cough and suspected or confirmed as having Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The facemasks should be secured above the ears and at the nape of the neck.

These can be worn for up to 8 hours, but need to be disposed of after each use, between each service user for which they are required to be worn.

Removal is by undoing or pulling apart the ties at the back being careful not to touch the front of the mask with clean, dry hands.

Dispose of the used mask in a sealed bag or pedal bin depending on whether you a residential home or out in the community.

I have been provided with eye protection (goggles or visor), how do I keep it clean so that it can be re-used?

Eye protection is generally reusable unless you’re told otherwise, where this is the case you will receive your own set.

Whether you are using a visor type device or goggles with arms over the ears or an elastic head strap, on leaving the room where you’ve been using them, remove your gloves then remove your goggles/ visor holding onto the ear strap. Wipe the eye areas over with a fresh biocidal wipe.

Dispose of wipe in a sealed bag/ pedal bin depending on whether you are in a residential home or out in the community.