Due to rising levels of covid-19 and the new highly infectious omicron strain, measures have been brought in again to help curb the number of infections.
In England, face coverings must now be worn in shops and shopping centres, in transport hubs and on public transport. It is recommended to still wear a face covering in indoor settings where they may not be legally required, but you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
From Friday 10 December, face coverings will become compulsory again in most public indoor venues such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship.
Secondary school pupils are also “strongly advised” to wear masks in communal areas, as are staff and visitors at all schools and childcare settings.
Children under the age of 11, or anyone with a health condition or disability which would prevent them from wearing a face covering, are exempt from doing so.
Unless you are exempt, failure to comply can result in a £200 fine for your first offence and doubling every reoffence up to £6400.
Places where wearing a mask is now mandatory (unless exempt):
- shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
- shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
- 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 centres)
- premises providing veterinary services
- retail galleries
- retail travel agents
- takeaways without space for consumption of food or drink on premises
- public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams, buses, coaches and ferries), taxis and private hire vehicles
- any car or small van during a professionally delivered driving lesson, a practical driving test, or during one of the practical tests for giving driving instruction, and in all HGV lessons and tests
- transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)