One second test that will let you see whether your face covering is effective

Face coverings are now mandatory in enclosed public spaces including shops and supermarkets, banks and building societies, takeaways, enclosed transport hubs and shopping centres.

Anyone who fails to adhere to new rules will face a £100 fine.

According to GOV.UK : “A face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth.

“You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.”

But with so many retailers selling them, and numerous tips and tricks on how to make them from home, how do you know what works and what doesn’t?

Writing in The Conversation Simon Kolstoe, senior lecturer in Evidence Based Healthcare at the University of Portsmouth says one of the most efficient tests to test how effective your face covering is, is the candle test.

It’s incredibly simple and takes only a second to complete.

Simon suggests lighting a candle and, being careful not to burn yourself, try and blow out the flame.

Supposedly, if you can blow out the candle or move the flame, too much air is able to escape from your mask.

Simon said: “Initially, the distance coupled with the strength of exhalation could be investigated, but then face coverings made from different materials and critically with different numbers of layers could be tried.

“The design of face-covering that made it hardest to divert the candle flame will probably provide the best barrier for projecting the virus forward and through the face covering.”

Try it out for yourself – but make sure you’re not too close to the candle.