Updated: Aug 26, 2020
New rulings came into place from Friday 24th July 2020 on face coverings. Read below for the latest information (as of 23rd July).
We have developed a new poster regarding face coverings which you can download and print out for use in your business, click HERE for a quick link to just this poster. You can find a range of different downloadable templates developed in partnership with Southend Borough Council HERE. What is a face covering?
A face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face. They are not classified as PPE (personal protective equipment).
When should these be used?
Situations where they should now be worn :
indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
indoor shopping centres
banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)
You are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave. To encourage compliance with the law, businesses can deny service or refuse entry to those not wearing a face covering. For exemptions on wearing face coverings scroll down to point 3 at this link HERE.
Guidelines for employers and employees in the workplace have not changed. It is not compulsory for shop or supermarket staff to wear face coverings, although employers should consider recommending their use where appropriate and where other mitigations are not in place.
Why use a face covering?
They are largely used to protect others, not the wearer, against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of the virus transmission.
COVID-19 can spread predominantly by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. These droplets can also be picked up from surfaces, if you touch a surface and then your face without washing your hands first. This is why social distancing, regular hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes is so important in controlling the spread of the virus.
What are the penalties if they are not worn?
Measures can be taken if people do not comply with this law. If necessary, the police have the powers to enforce these measures, including through issuing a fine of £100 (halving to £50 if paid within 14 days). Always refer to the latest Government guidance which can be found HERE.