More than 20,000 free, reusable face masks are being distributed to people living in Sydney’s social housing estates, boarding houses and rough sleepers.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the $200,000 initiative was part of the council’s commitment to working with NSW Health to beat COVID-19.

“When maintaining physical distancing is hard, we should all be wearing a face mask. But not everyone is able to buy them,” Ms Moore said in a statement on Monday.

“The City of Sydney has purchased cloth reusable masks for the most vulnerable in our community – rough sleepers, people in social housing and boarding houses,” she aid.

The masks are made from three ply material and meet the guidelines produced by the World Health Organisation.

The council worked with Australian manufacturer ClothMaskMe which provided the masks at cost price.

Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson, applauded the move.

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“More than 13,000 people across Sydney and South Eastern Sydney local health districts are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, and we have many people living in social housing, or struggling financially due to job losses related to the pandemic.

“During COVID-19, we’ve worked hard to ensure the safety of these communities by running free wellness clinics in disadvantaged areas, and sending our flying squad of nurses into boarding houses to test residents. We have also been running free influenza clinics and handing out sanitiser and masks,” she said.

AAP

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