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Face Coverings

Please see below an extract from the latest Government advice on face coverings, when and where they should be worn.

1. What is a face covering?
In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, a face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.

Face coverings are not classified as PPE (personal protective equipment) which is used in a limited number of settings to protect wearers against hazards and risks, such as surgical masks or respirators used in medical and industrial settings.

Face coverings are instead largely intended to protect others, not the wearer, against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of virus that causes coronavirus infection (COVID-19).

If you wish to find out more about the differences between surgical face masks, PPE face masks, and face coverings see the MHRA’s (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) regulatory status of equipment being used to help prevent coronavirus (COVID-19).

2. When to wear a face covering

Different regulations exist for wearing face coverings in different parts of the UK:

· Northern Ireland

· Scotland

· Wales

In England, you must wear a face covering by law in the following settings:

· public transport

· indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)

· shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)

· indoor shopping centres

· banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)

You are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave.

For members of the public, from 8 August the places where you will have to wear a face covering will be expanded to include:

· funeral directors

· premises providing professional, legal or financial services

· cinemas

· theatres

· bingo halls

· concert halls

· museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites.

· nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers – other than where necessary to remove for treatments

· massage parlours

· public areas in hotels and hostels

· place of worship

· libraries and public reading rooms

· community centres

· social clubs

· tattoo and piercing parlours

· indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities e.g. laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites etc)

· storage and distribution facilities

· veterinary services.

· auction houses

We recommend face coverings are worn in these settings now, this will not be mandatory until 8 August.