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COVID-19 updates

This page contains information about what Clubs are doing during the Covid-19 Pandemic to help their local communities, hospitals and care homes. There are also links to the latest information.

Latest Infomation on Coronavirus

For the latest update on Coronavirus visit the websites of the World Health Organisation (WHO) or the EU:

Latest Information on the wearing of masks – 12 July 2020

Many members are making cloth face masks now that most governments have advised their use in situations where social distancing is difficult. WHO has reviewed all the evidence and provides advice on how to make the most effective ‘home made’ masks. The is copied below:

Table 4. Summary guidance and practical considerations for non-medical mask production and management Guidance and practical considerations 

Fabric selection: 

  • Choose materials that capture particles and droplets but remain easy to breathe through.
  • Avoid stretchy material for making masks as they provide lower filtration efficiency during use and are sensitive to washing at high temperatures.
  • Fabrics that can support high temperatures (60° or more) are preferable.


  • A minimum of three layers is required, depending on the fabric used: an inner layer touching the mouth and an outer layer that is exposed to the environment.
  • Choose water-absorbing (hydrophilic) materials or fabrics for the internal layers, to readily absorb droplets, combined with an external synthetic material that does not easily absorb liquid (hydrophobic).

Mask management: 

  • Masks should only be used by one person.
  • All masks should be changed if soiled or wet; a soiled or wet mask should not be worn for an extended period of time.
  • Non-medical masks should be washed frequently and handled carefully, so as not to contaminate other items.
  • Clothing fabrics used to make masks should be checked for the highest permitted washing temperature, which is indicated on the clothing label.
  • Non-woven polypropylene (PP) spunbond may be washed at high temperature, up to 140°C.
  • The combination of non-woven PP spunbond and cotton can tolerate high temperatures; masks made of these combinations may be steamed or boiled.
  • Where hot water is not available, wash mask with soap/detergent at room temperature water, followed by either i) boiling mask for one minute OR ii) soak mask in 0.1% chlorine for one minute then thoroughly rinse mask with room temperature water, to avoid any toxic residual of chlorine.

There is much more information on their web site, in particular as a .pdf at

Coronavirus Helplines

Members in the UK have a number of helplines they can use if they need help. See the list below. Other countries are invited to send in their relevant contact details as well.

Club Activity – Newsletters

The SIGBI News Briefings are currently being circulated on a weekly basis. The scheduled mailings include news from SIGBI HQ, with a second page devoted to Club Action related to COVID-19. The additional mailings only include a single page on COVID-19 activities.

Ideas for holding virtual meetings/events and programme work have been collated from the News Briefings and Social Media posts into one handy reference guide. We have not included the making of Face Masks as there is evidence that these are not effective and may even help in spreading the disease. WHO state that “the use of a mask alone is insufficient to provide an adequate level of protection, and other measures should also be adopted.”

There are several sources for information on masks, listed below:

All the relevant News Briefings, which started on 17 April 2020, are shown below for easy reference.

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