compulsory coverings in shops, fines and who is exempt from wearing one

Are there any exceptions to the rule?

Yes there are some exceptions, which the government have outlined as ‘reasonable’ reasons for not wearing a mask. These include if you’re travelling with someone who requires lip reading, if you suffer from severe distress when you put it on, suffer from a disability where you’re unable to put it on, or you need to eat, drink or take medication. 

Those who suffer from autism also don’t have to wear a mask, with the same applying to those who have an impairment which could be affected by putting on a covering. 

Are masks still required on trains and buses?

The current guidance has required masks to be worn on public transport in England since June 15. Travel operators can refuse to let passengers on board if they are not covering their face – and those who refuse to follow the new protocol could face a fine. Exceptions apply for very young children, disabled people, and those who have breathing difficulties. 

Uber has had restrictions in place since June 15, with both drivers and passengers required to wear a mask whilst in the vehicle.

A paper published by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change on June 12 said that transparent face shields of the sort used by hospital doctors and nurses should be used by transport workers, teachers and retail workers.

It advises that visors, like face masks, be used by the public to mitigate the risk of infection where social distancing is not possible.

On June 5, Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, announced that hospital visitors and outpatients would need to wear face coverings and all hospital staff would be required to wear surgical masks in England from June 15.

He told the daily Downing Street press conference:  “This will cover all staff working in hospital, it will apply at all times – not just when they are doing life-saving work on the front line – and it will apply in all areas, except those areas designated as Covid-secure workplaces.”

Read more: Where can I buy face masks?