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People who wore face coverings or masks outside of the home, and were more exposed to infection due to their circumstances, had ‘significantly’ lower rates of COVID-19 infection, according to research published in BMJ Open today, led by Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science.

Group of people in public wearing face masks

Although it has been widely asserted that face coverings protect others, rather than the wearer, this large-scale study found a clear link between wearing a face covering outside the home and infection.

The study links individuals’ and households’ ability to follow non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) often known as COVID behavioural interventions, using the largest and most representative dataset to date in the UK, including people from different ethnic and age groups.

Using the COVID Infection Study (CIS), study participants were asked to complete a short questionnaire, as well as taking regular COVID tests. Respondents were asked to reveal how often they worked outside the home, how easy it was to maintain social distance in their workplace, whether they took public transport and whether they had direct contact with others on a day-to-day basis.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website

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