Face masks will be compulsory in AIRPORTS and TRAIN STATIONS: New rules make it illegal not to wear coverings in ‘enclosed spaces’ such as takeaways cafes, supermarkets, shopping centres and transport hubs – but not pubs or restaurants
Face coverings will have to be worn in shops, supermarkets and shopping centres as well as train stations and airports under new rules set to apply across England from tomorrow.
The Government this afternoon finally published its formal guidance on where the wearing of masks will now be mandatory.
However, places like restaurants, pubs and gyms will all be exempt from the restrictions.
Failure to comply with the rules could result in a £100 fine although the police have suggested that they will not be aggressively enforcing the policy, with ministers hoping members of the public will show ‘common sense’ on the issue.
The publication of the final set of face mask guidance comes after weeks of confusion after different ministers said different things about where the coverings would and would not be required.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson talks with a paramedic as he visits headquarters of the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust last week on July 13 while wearing a mask
A woman wears a protective face mask in a McDonald’s restaurant in London yesterday after more than 700 restaurants of the fast-food chain reopened with a dine-in service
A woman wearing a mask walks among other shoppers – some wearing masks – on London’s Oxford Street yesterday
The Government is hoping the long-anticipated shift on the compulsory wearing of masks will help to slow the spread of coronavirus.
But ministers remain under pressure over why they did not introduce the measures earlier, especially since the wearing of masks has been required in many countries across the world throughout the pandemic.
Face coverings have been required in England when travelling on public transport since June 15.
But they will now apply much more widely with the new regulations setting out that members of the public will need to wear face coverings – like a mask, scarf or bandana – that covers the nose and mouth when in numerous enclosed public spaces.
One of the main areas of confusion in recent weeks has been over whether the wearing of maks would be required when people visit takeaways.
The guidance states that they will have to be worn when buying food and drink to takeaway from cafes and shops.
However, if people are in a premises where they are able to sit down and consume food or drink that they have just bought, then the face covering can be removed in order to eat and drink.
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.
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.’