Posted: Thu 23rd Jul 2020

Face coverings mandatory in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and enclosed transport hubs in England from today

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jul 23rd, 2020

From today, it will be compulsory to wear a face covering in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and enclosed transport hubs in England. 

You will also need to wear one when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops again this rule relates to England and not Wales. 

As well as shops and supermarkets, face coverings must be worn in banks, building societies and post offices over the border. 

If you are in a premises in England where you are able to sit down and consume food or drink that you have bought, then you can remove your face covering in order to eat and drink on-site.

Police have the power to hand out fines of up to £100 to those who do not comply.

Face coverings will not be mandatory for anyone under the age of 11 and those with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear one.

The UK government says: “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.”

England’s 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.”

Wearing a face covering in England will not be made mandatory in other venues that have measures in place to protect staff and the public from COVID-19. These include:

  • eat-in restaurants and pubs
  • hairdressers and other treatment salons
  • gyms and leisure centres
  • cinemas, concert halls and theatres

For transport hubs in England, the requirements mean face coverings must be worn in indoor train stations and terminals, airports, maritime ports, and indoor bus and coach stations or terminals.

“Anyone who doesn’t abide by the regulations – and is not exempt under one of the categories set out in the regulations – could face a fine by the police of up to £100, as is currently the case on public transport.

The police have been very clear throughout the pandemic that they will “engage, explain, encourage and finally enforce as a last resort”. The UK government has said. 

Superintendent Julie Westgate from Cheshire Police said: “These changes should act as a reminder to everyone that COVID-19 has not gone away and it is essential we continue to do all we can to reduce the spread of this virus.

Everyone needs to play their part and take personal responsibility by ensuring they follow the guidance and wear a face covering whenever required.

While police do have the power to issue fines to anyone who breaches the legislation – this will be a last resort and we are relying on the goodwill of the people of Cheshire in sticking to the rules.

Retailers are expected to manage entry to their stores and compliance with the law while customers are inside.

Therefore, if you are out and about in a retail store and see somebody who you believe may be breaching the regulations, please don’t call 101 straight away – we would urge you to speak to a store worker who can then attempt to resolve the issue within the store.

In cases where the store worker is unable to resolve the issue, they themselves can contact police for support.

In instances where police attendance is required, we will continue to use common sense and discretion to determine what is reasonable, with officers using the 4Es approach of engaging, explaining, encouraging and, only as a last resort, enforcing.”

Wearing a face covering on public transport and in taxis will become mandatory in Wales on July 27th.

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