Currently in the UK it's not mandatory to wear a mask while outside the home.
Like some of the country, our team is currently working from home but there are plans in place to require people to wear a face mask when we return to the office for a period of time.
There are a few reasons I personally don't advocate your average Joe wearing a mask. PPE is running thin among our emergency services, they should be getting priority as they are at greater risk. For a mask to be effective you need to wash your hands and discard the mask every time you remove it. This isn't practical due to the shortages.
Folk are wearing scarfs, socks, etc. as masks. However, making you own mask is inconsistent. There are a number of factors for a mask to be effective: material type, fabric density, coverage, etc. Along with this, once the mask has being used must be removed correctly, with gloves, and disposed.
My question is can an employer force you to wear a face mask?
I have reviewed the following online documentation but nothing is mentioned Gov.UK - Staying safe outside your home.
The employer is preparing members of staff to return to the workplace. They have clarified each of us will get 3 masks for our return. I am currently trying to determine what type these are.
If these are the disposable kind then the best case scenario is that this will cover 3 days of office work - following correct disposal guidelines: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/epi-win/how-to-use-mask-v0-1-print.pdf?sfvrsn=64ba1493_2
If they are some other kind I will need to look into those once confirmed.
Alongside either of these we will require covered bins for potential mask disposal, hand washing facility within the office or disposable gloves - otherwise door handles may become contaminated, alcohol-based hand gel.
For now I will be advocating for working from home as we are currently doing currently rather than rushing back.