But now a new study by researchers at the University of Central Florida aims to put any debate to bed.

But the particles, which can carry Covid, only travel around 2ft when people wear cloth masks.

Like for other respiratory diseases, Covid sufferers emit tiny virus-laden droplets when they breath, speak or sing.

in a study published in the journal of infectious diseases, experts noted that face masks reduce the distance airborne pathogens can travel.

Study co-author Kareem Ahmed said : "The research provides clear evidence and guidelines that three feet of distancing with face coverings is better than six feet of distancing without face coverings.

Masks and face coverings are also one of the easiest ways for people to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 alongside social distancing.

However, this report re-emphasises the importance of focussing on the ability of Covid to be transmitted in enclosed spaces.

How the three vaccines compare. (Image: Daily Express)

These include popular destinations including restaurants, cafes and nightclubs where people are unmasked in unventilated spaces for periods of more than 20 minutes.

While Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each brought in restrictions towards the end of last year, England didn't.

So far, government figures state that over 150,000 people have died from COVID-19 while the ONS ( Office for National Statistics ) suggests the figure could be over 175,000.

The study suggested that as the virus particles leave the lungs during the exhalation process, they quickly lose water.

The above shows the distance travelled by droplets from someone when they spoke or coughed for five minutes while un-masked, wearing a cloth mask, or wearing a disposable mask. Standard disposable masks have three layers

Both these factors hamper its ability to infect another person, but the speed at which the virus particles dry out depends on the humidity of the surrounding air, according to the study.

At 90 per cent humidity level, the infectivity of the virus reduced more slowly, with 52 per cent of particles remaining infectious after five minutes.

However, the study said the temperature of the air had no impact on the virus's infectivity.

This is important as reducing the transmission distance will help keep more people safe from infection.

The topic of face coverings has divided opinions (Image: GETTY)

The use of face masks throughout the coronavirus pandemic has been a controversial topic, with the protective measure dividing opinions.

READ MORE : Archaeologists stunned as 'oldest evidence of mankind' rewrites human history The researchers found that a cloth face-covering reduced emissions in all directions to about two feet compared to the four feet of emissions produced when coughing or speaking with no mask on.

Stay up to date with our posts

Seamless Daily is an innovative news platform that is updated 24/7 to help you keep up to date with all the current events around the globe.

Our team of professional editors as well as our state-of-the-art artificial intelligence platforms ensure that our curation is accurate, fact-checked, and trustworthy.

Click here to subscribe

Read more

Aquaman star Jason Momoa announces split from wife Lisa Bonet

US spelling of solution to Wordle puzzle baffles players on this side of the Atlantic

Novak Djokovic: Australia still considering cancelling player’s visa and whether he had ‘acceptable proof’