FACE COVERING: WHEN YOU NEED TO WEAR ONE.
Face coverings are now required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport, including taxis – see the ‘When to wear a face covering’ section below.
Face coverings are not required in hospitality venues where food and drink are consumed (such as pubs, cafés and restaurants), or during exercise (such as gyms), including dancing (such as nightclubs).
Where a premises or part of a premises is being used for an event where the main activities include eating, drinking and dancing, face coverings are not required. Face coverings must be worn in communal areas of the premises not being used for the event, such as in a hotel lobby when an event is taking place in a conference room.
In indoor settings where a face covering is not legally required, you should still continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.
Some people, including children under 11, are exempt from having to wear face coverings in any setting. Furthermore, anyone with a health condition or disability, which means they cannot wear a face covering, has a reasonable excuse for not wearing a face covering.
You must wear a face covering in the following indoor settings (examples are given in brackets):
- shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
- auction houses
- post offices, banks, building societies, high street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
- estate and letting agents
- premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (barbers, hair salons, tattoo and piercing studios, nail salons and massage centers)
- premises providing veterinary services
- retail galleries
- retail travel agents
- public facing funeral offices
- takeaways without space for consumption of food or drink on premises
- shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
- community centres (including village halls), youth centers, members clubs and social clubs
- libraries and public reading rooms
- polling stations and premises used for the counting of votes
- places of worship
- crematoria and burial ground chapels
- visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, indoor theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, indoor areas at aquariums, zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centers, indoor sports stadiums, funfairs, indoor theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas)
- public areas in hotels and hostels
- indoor areas of open-air sports stadiums
- public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams, buses, coaches and ferries), taxis and private hire vehicles
- cars or small vans during any professionally delivered driving lesson, during any driving test, and during any practical test to qualify as an approved driving instructor
- heavy goods vehicle (HGVs) during any driving lesson and during any driving test
- driving theory test centers
- transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
- motorway service areas
Staff within these settings, except some transport workers (see the ‘Face coverings at work’ section below), and those working in premises providing legal or financial services are required to wear face coverings when they are in a part that is open to the public and when they are likely to come into close contact with members of the public, such as on a shop floor. Staff may also wear face coverings when working in settings where face coverings are not required, and businesses are encouraged to support them in doing so.
You are required to wear a face covering on entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse for removing it. Examples of what would usually be a reasonable excuse are listed in the ‘If you are not able to wear a face covering’ section below.
You should continue to wear a face covering in other indoor places, especially those that are crowded and enclosed and where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
Face coverings are not legally required in hospitality settings given that they cannot be worn while eating and drinking. They are also not legally required in exercise facilities including gyms, dance studios, swimming pools or leisure centres (see the ‘When you do not need to wear a face covering’ section below).
Face coverings and face masks are needed in healthcare settings to comply with infection, prevention, control (IPC) guidance. This includes hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. They should also be worn by everyone accessing or visiting care homes.
Be part of the solution, not the problem. Wear a Silver Life Mask.