A face covering can significantly reduce the spread of Covid-19, but around the world, there are still people who refuse to wear them.
In the UK, Scotland has made face coverings mandatory since Friday, although England’s rules are less strict.
In the US, President Donald Trump, who has previously refused to wear one, has finally made a public appearance with a face mask on. This move may help calm the debate in the country around face masks, with one side seeing them as necessary, and another as restrictive.
However, celebrities have weighed in on the issue too. From singers to actors, here are some of the famous faces who have been urging their fans to sport face masks.
Rappers Eminem and Kid Cudi have teamed up to take on issues such as police brutality and the pandemic in their single The Adventures of Moon Man and Slim Shady.
On the track, Eminem raps about divisions in the US between those who wear masks and those who think it impinges on their rights. “Half of us walking around like a zombie apocalypse,” he raps. “Don’t wanna wear a mask and they’re just scoffing / And that’s how you end up catching the [expletive] off ‘em”.
American actress and writer Mindy Kaling joined the Metropolitan Museum’s #MetMaskChallenge, which asked people to create their own masks inspired by works from the museum’s art collection.
"I love a good design challenge, especially when it involves something as important as wearing a mask," Kaling wrote on her Instagram. The actress, who starred in The Office and The Mindy Project, created a mask featuring the ancient Greek god of the seas Poseidon.
Donning a black face mask, Friends actress Jennifer Aniston shared a lengthy post on social media addressing the Covid-19 outbreak. It's the first time that Aniston has written about the pandemic at length, saying: "There are many people in our country refusing to take the necessary steps to flatten the curve, and keep each other safe. People seem worried about their 'rights being taken away' by being asked to wear a mask. This simple and effective recommendation is being politicised at the expense of peoples' lives. And it really shouldn't be a debate."
Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon has been actively advocating for the use of face masks, sharing memes and posts to encourage her followers to put one on. On her Instagram page, the Little Fires Everywhere star donned a checkerboard-pattered mask, with the caption: "Wearing a mask is not a political statement. It means you care about other people's health and safety. Be kind, wear a mask!"
Tracee Ellis Ross
Actress Tracee Ellis Ross, who stars in the sitcom Black-ish, showed off a pink mask in an Instagram post in June. Ross, the daughter of the singer Diana Ross, took part in an online challenge and tagged several other celebrities and singers to post images of themselves in masks too. These included Lizzo, Oprah, Marissa Tomei, Issa Rae and Kelly Rowland.
"I am sure you all are seeing what I am seeing: Covid-19 rates in the USA are rising at a truly scary rate. One thing I know for sure is that there's a very easy way each of us can help, and that's to [wear a mask] whenever we are in public," Ross wrote in her caption.
In characteristic Lady Gaga fashion, the award-winning singer showed off a glittery face mask, which was studded with spikes and embellished with chains. "Be yourself, but wear a mask! I believe in being kind to yourself, the community, and the planet. I challenge my awesome friends to show off their mask game," she wrote, tagging figures such as Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Oprah, Ariana Grande and Tony Bennett to post a picture of themselves in masks.
It is hard to match British supermodel Naomi Campbell when it comes to PPE. In March, she made headlines when she was photographed at the airport wearing a Hazmat suit, safety goggles, gloves and face mask as she was about to board a flight. “Safety first next level,” she told her 8.5 million followers when she shared the photograph on Instagram.
Campbell is known for her aversion to germs. In 2019, she shared her in-flight hygiene routine on her YouTube channel, which involved putting on gloves and Dettol-wiping her entire seat and station down.
Known for her role in the TV series House, Olivia Wilde has shared a number of photos of herself wearing a face mask on Instagram. In one post, she wrote, "No, it doesn't cause breathing problems. No, it isn't worse for you than the virus. I like these lightweight easy disposable ones. This isn't a debate. It's science."
The actor's post, where he wears a black-and-white chequered mask, was a hit, racking up 1.8 million likes. In one of the most famous roles of his career, Dempsey played Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy. On Instagram, he shared the image with the message: "It's a beautiful day to save lives," a reference to his character's catchphrase, and the hashtag #WearAMask.
Neil Patrick Harris
Funny man Neil Patrick Harris or NPH played the womanising Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother for years, and most recently played Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events. He is also known for playing Doogie Howser, a young genius who becomes a doctor at age 14 in the show Doogie Howser, MD.
Harris recently featured in a video thanking first responders and medical professionals fighting the pandemic in hospitals and care homes. "While fake TV medical degrees don’t provide anything of real value during these challenging times, they do allow us to show respect and thank those who are quite literally saving our lives," he wrote. In another post, Harris wore a mask designed by artist Topher Adam that featured intricate wallpaper patterns from a haunted mansion.
Kerry Washington, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in the show Scandal, has been a vocal advocate for mask wearing. In a recent post on Instagram, she shared a series of memes where the characters she has played in films have been digitally manipulated to wear masks.
In another post, Washington wore a leopard-print mask and sunglasses and wrote in the caption: "Throwing shade if you’re not wearing a mask."