When you do and don’t have to Wear a Face Covering

From Friday, the 24th July 2020, there are new rules for people who are in England regarding when and where you must wear a face covering. The government has said that you must now wear a face covering in all the supermarkets, in shops and on all public transport. It is compulsory for people to wear them in some places, but not in others.

Covid-19 Facemasks

You may be finding the information concerning the new rules confusing especially with regard to places like shops, and travelling on public transport if you want to go somewhere on the bus or train. An example of this would be if you go to a takeaway food and drink shop for a cheese sandwich and a carton of coffee to take away with you, then you must wear a facemask. However, if you go to a restaurant, a pub, or a supermarket where you can buy a meal and sit and eat it, then you do not need to do so.

People Wearing Facemasks On A Bus

Face coverings are now compulsory in:- Enclosed public spaces; Shops; Supermarkets; Indoor shopping centres; Transport Hubs; Banks; Post Offices. If you break the rules, you can be fined up to £100. Also, the Police will be allowed to use force to evict customers from shops if they are not wearing a face covering, and can also prevent them from entering shops.

Person Wearing A Covid-19 Facemask

Face coverings are now optional in:- Eat-in cafes; Pubs; Restaurants; Shops or Supermarkets with a seating area where you are allowed to sit down and have a meal that you have bought there (in these places you can remove your face covering so that you can eat and drink); Hairdresser’s, Barber’s, or Salons; Gyms and Leisure Centres; Cinemas, Concert Halls and Theatres; Public Places people can visit such as Museums; the Dentist’s, and the Optician’s.

Basically you should wear a face covering in any indoor space where you cannot keep 2 metres apart from someone else. It will help to reduce the spread of the virus.

If you wear a facemask it will protect you from the virus if another person nearby who is not wearing a face covering breathes, coughs or sneezes the virus into the air. The droplets they eject in this way will float about in the air for a while, and may then be breathed in by people near you who are not wearing a face covering, but the facemask you are wearing will prevent the virus from infecting you. These droplets may then land on nearby surfaces and the virus can live on these surfaces for quite a few days. Healthy people who are not wearing a face covering can then be infected by the virus if they touch these surfaces, and then go on to touch their face or mouth or nose with their fingers, if they do not immediately wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. Again, your facemask will protect you if you touch a surface that has been contaminated by the virus in this way, because it will stop you touching your face or mouth or nose with your fingers.

To put it briefly, if you wear a face covering, it will prevent the virus from infecting you and will therefore also help to reduce the general spread of the virus.

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