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Hereford Voice

Wearing Face Coverings Mandatory in Shops and Other Public Places in England from Friday

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Wearing a face covering will be mandatory in shops and other public spaces across England from Friday to stop the spread of coronavirus.

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People will also have to wear a mask, scarf or bandana that covers the nose and mouth in shopping centres and indoor transport hubs, like bus and train stations.

When it comes to buying food, the law will depend on where you're eating it.

Face coverings will not be mandatory in pubs and restaurants.

Announcing the latest guidance, the Department of Health and Social care said:

Quote

"There is evidence to suggest that, when used correctly, face coverings may reduce the likelihood of someone with the infection passing it on to others, particularly if they are asymptomatic."

Coffee shops and takeaways

People will need to wear a face covering in coffee shops in England under new regulations due to come into effect on 24 July.

The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed face coverings will be needed in shops such as Pret a Manger if people intend to take their food and coffee away.

However, if they sit down to eat or drink, they will be able to remove their face covering in that area. Takeaway outlets will also fall under the same criteria.

Those who fail to follow the new law could be fined up to £100 - brought down to £50 if paid within fortnight.

Children under 11 and those with disabilities are exempt, and people can remove face coverings for valid reasons like being asked to do so in a bank or to prove their identity if buying age-restricted products.

Who is exempt from wearing a face mask?

The same exemptions as for public transport will apply under the updated guidelines, with children under 11 and people with breathing problems not required to wear a covering.

Anyone who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment or disability is also exempt.

Under the new rules, the below groups are not required to wear a mask:

A child under the age of 11

An employee of the transport operator, when they are acting in the course of their employment

A constable or police community support officer acting in the course of their duty

An emergency response member of staff, such as a paramedic or fire officer acting in the course of their duty

An official such as a border force officer, acting in the course of their duty

If you are onboard public transport but remain in your own vehicle, such as a car ferry

Other exemptions listed include those with a disability or a physical or mental illness, and anyone travelling with a deaf person who relies on lip-reading to communicate. 

Customers in shops will also be allowed to remove them if they are required to present identification for purchasing alcohol and other age-restricted products.

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