From Friday 24th July 2020, face coverings will be mandatory in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and enclosed transport hubs to help fight the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Under the new regulations members of the public will need to wear face coverings – for example, a fabric covering, scarf or bandana – that covers the nose and mouth in additional enclosed public spaces, as well as frequent hand washing and careful social distancing.
See how to make your own simple face covering.
Reducing risk of passing on infection
There is evidence to suggest that, when used correctly, face coverings may reduce the likelihood of someone with the infection passing it on to others, particularly if they are asymptomatic.
Anyone who doesn’t abide by the regulations – and is not exempt under one of the categories set out in the regulations – could face a fine by the police of up to £100, as is currently the case on public transport.
Businesses must encourage customers to follow the law
Although the responsibility for wearing a face covering sits with individuals, businesses are encouraged to take reasonable steps to encourage customers to follow the law, including through signs and providing other information in store.
Hancock: Everyone must play their part in fighting this virus
Health and Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“As we move into the next stage of easing restrictions for the public, it is vital we continue to shop safely so that we can make the most of our fantastic retail industry this summer.
“Everyone must play their part in fighting this virus by following this new guidance. I also want to thank the British public for all the sacrifices they are making to help keep this country safe.”
Face coverings will not be mandatory for:
- anyone under the age of 11
- those with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering
Food and drink
It will be compulsory to wear a face covering when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops.
If you are in a premises where you are able to sit down and consume food or drink that you have bought, then you can remove your face covering in order to eat and drink on-site.
As well as shops and supermarkets, face coverings must be worn in banks, building societies and post offices.
For transport hubs in England, the requirements mean face coverings must be worn in indoor train stations and terminals, airports, maritime ports, and indoor bus and coach stations or terminals.
People wearing face coverings are still strongly advised to:
- wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before putting one on or taking it off
- avoid taking it off and putting it back on again a lot in quick succession
- store it in a plastic bag in between washes or wearing
- avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth while wearing one
Find out more
For more details on face coverings and how to make one, see the Government Website.