Should you shave your beard because of coronavirus?

For those who fear that the coronavirus outbreak is dictating every aspect of life, the news just got a little bit worse.

Not only are vast parts of the world confined to their homes, travel banned and stores shut down but now the health authorities are even telling men how to wear their beards.

Well almost.

The US Centers for Disease Control has issued advice on which styles of facial hair are incompatible with the use of sophisticated respirators.

Respirators, also known as as N95 face masks, are medical breathing devices fitted with an air filter. To work, they must seal around the face to ensure non-filtered air cannot enter the nose or mouth.

Facial hair can prevent a complete seal and is therefore a risk to those in front-line medical roles who need the sophisticated protection.

Most health authorities advise that N95 masks should not be used by the general public to ensure supplies are available to doctors and other personnel most at risk.