Face coverings to become compulsory in shops in England from 24th July
Friday, July 17, 2020
From Friday 24th July, wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England will be mandatory.
Those who fail to comply with the new rules will face a fine of up to £100, the Government has announced.
Mask-wearing has been compulsory on public transport in England and at NHS facilities across the UK since 15 June and from 24th July will also be mandatory in shops and supermarkets. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it would "give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protections for those who work in shops".
You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to.
- young children under the age of 11
- not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
- to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
- to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
- to eat or drink, but only if you need to
- to take medication
- if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering
There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering when asked:
- If asked to do so by shop staff for the purpose of age identification
- If speaking with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound. Some may ask you, either verbally or in writing, to remove a covering to help with communication
Face coverings are not the same as face masks. It is important that people do not use medical grade PPE masks to ensure these remain available for frontline staff. The government has set out advice for people on how to make their own face coverings. These should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably and can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.
For more information about what face coverings are, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), when they should be worn and how they should be safely used and stored please visit the gov.uk website here.