Wearing a face covering in shops in England will become mandatory from tomorrow, 24 July 2020

Face coverings are already compulsory in Scotland.


So, what are the rules in England from tomorrow when out shopping?


  • It will be compulsory to wear a face-covering in shops in England from Friday 24 July, but the rules won't apply to shop workers. However, the guidance strongly recommends that they do.

  • Should you fail to wear a mask/face covering, you will risk a fine of up to £100

  • The rules will be enforced by the police, rather than the shop staff.

  • You are not required to wear a face-covering in places where it's not practical to do so such as in pubs, cafes or restaurants, and Children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt.

What are the face-covering rules when using public transport?


Since 15 June, anyone travelling by bus, train, ferry, or plane in England must wear a face covering. Some passengers are exempt from the rules including:


  • Children under 11

  • People with disabilities

  • Those with breathing difficulties

  • Anyone travelling with someone who relies on lip reading

Passengers not following the rules can be refused travel.


Public transport excludes school transport, taxis, and private hire vehicles.


Face coverings will also be made mandatory on public transport in Wales from 27 July and the wearing of face coverings on most buses, trains and ferries became mandatory in Northern Ireland on 10 July.


Background


Since early-May we have been advised to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces, such as supermarkets, where it can be difficult to follow social distancing rules, and the guidance now coming from the government says there is growing evidence that wearing them helps protect individuals and those around them from the virus.


Do face coverings work?


World Health Organisation (WHO) advice says non-medical face coverings should be worn in public where social distancing is not possible. COVID-19 is spread when droplets are sprayed into the air when infected people talk, cough, or sneeze. Those droplets can then fall on surfaces.


The WHO says there is also emerging evidence of airborne transmission of the virus, with tiny particles hanging in aerosol form in the air.

The advice is that homemade cloth face coverings can help reduce the spread from people who are infected but have no symptoms or are yet to develop symptoms.



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