Pharmacist Randall Higgins, a specialist at Good Glow, is in favour of a holistic approach to help prevent the spread of disease.
Higgins said: "Given the rise in cases attributed to the new 'Pirola' (BA.2.86) variant, and the historical context of mask directives in the UK, I would advise that masks may need to be considered as part of a holistic approach to prevent the spread of Covid."
Only wearing masks, however, will not be the only answer to curbing infections.
"They should be combined with other preventive measures to be most effective," said Higgins.
"The efficacy of mask-wearing as a singular preventive measure has been debated, but when used in conjunction with other actions, it can help reduce transmission."
There are six prongs to the multi-faceted approach recommended by Higgins to protect yourself against Covid.
- Vaccination: It remains the frontline defence against severe illness and hospitalisation.
- Hand hygiene: Regular handwashing and sanitising to reduce the risk of transmission from surfaces.
- Mask-wearing: Especially in crowded or indoor settings, a snug-fitting face covering can prevent the spread of respiratory droplets.
- Cough and sneezing etiquette: Ensure you cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing to prevent droplet spread.
- Avoid touching face: Minimise touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unclean hands to reduce the risk of introducing the virus to mucosal surfaces.
- Stay informed: Regularly monitor guidelines and recommendations from reputable health organisations.
Higgins added: "As of now, the primary symptoms of Covid remain fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and fatigue."
The NHS has an extended list of possible Covid symptoms, which can include:
- Shivering (chills)
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or exhausted
- An aching body
- A headache
- A sore throat
- A blocked or runny nose
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling sick or being sick.
As Covid has continuously evolved, leading to new variants, there have been significant strides in understanding and managing the disease.
However, Higgins said: "It's crucial to remain vigilant. Our knowledge and actions should be adaptive to the virus's evolutionary trajectory.
"We must stay informed, proactive, and willing to adopt measures that safeguard community health while balancing practical considerations and public sentiment."
Anybody suffering from mild Covid symptoms is best advised to stay at home while recovering.