10th August 2020

Wear One For Everyone

From 10 August the use of face coverings in certain indoor settings, such as shops or shopping centres, will be mandatory. You must also wear a face covering on public transport.

As well as ordinary day to day shopping for items such as clothes, food or electrical goods, a face covering is required in any other indoor place where goods or services are available to buy or rent. This includes, for example, a bookmakers, a food takeaway business or a dry cleaner.

When do I not have to wear a mask?

It is not mandatory to wear a face covering in a business that is able to maintain social distancing by using a system of ticketing or appointments. This might include, for example, a cinema, a hairdresser, or a solicitor. You do not have to wear a face covering in a bank or a business that operates like a bank.

There are circumstances where it is not possible to wear a face covering, for example, where you are eating or drinking in a restaurant, pub or café.

You do not have to wear a face covering in a gym or other place where the purpose of your attendance is aerobic exercise.

If you are wearing a face covering and remove it to eat, drink or exercise, you should replace it as soon as practicable afterwards and maintain social distancing of at least 2 metres if you are in an enclosed space.

You do not have to wear a face covering:

  • if you are under the age of 13
  • If you have a reasonable excuse not to

There are several reasonable excuses for not wearing a face covering. These are listed on the nidirect website: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-face-coverings

An employee of a store / shopping centre can request that you wear a face covering, and can ask you to leave the shop or shopping centre if you refuse to wear one and do not have a reasonable excuse not to.

If you have a condition which means you cannot wear a face covering you only need to say, if asked, that you cannot wear a face covering because you are ‘exempt’. It is important that we all respect one another and remember that the reasons for not wearing a face covering may not always be visible.

More information and guidance on the use of face coverings, including why they are needed; how to make one; and how they should be worn is available at: www.nidirect.gov.uk/face-coverings