Thursday 23 July 2020 1:57 AM UTC
LONDON July 23: From Friday, all those entering a corner shop, high street store or supermarket will require a face covering or will risk paying a £100 fine. The new measures mirror the restrictions imposed in Spain and Italy and come into force two weeks after cover-ups and shields were made mandatory on all public transport.
The enforcement will be carried out by the police- not the retail staff and will be the same as those applicable on public transport in England. This will mean that children under 11 and people with certain disabilities will be exempt from the regulations.
Until now it has only been ‘advised in enclosed spaces’ but this is about to change and be enforceable by law. The regulations will be enforced under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 which was the same law used as the basis for many other lockdown restrictions.
Those attending pubs, restaurants and hotels will be exempt from the new rules but those contravening the law when attending shops and supermarkets will be subject to a £100 fine, reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days. They can also be refused entry if they fail to comply.
By wearing a face covering, this help catches small droplets that can spread from when someone talks or coughs. This will therefore help contain COVID-19 bacteria that could land on other people or shop surfaces. Official guidance also states:
If you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.
The face covering should cover your mouth and nose and should not be taken off while in public and surrounded by other people. It is also strongly advised that even if your mouth and nose are covered, the bacteria can be spread on your hands. As advised, always wash your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap, when you get home and before handling your face.
People should aim to wash or change their mask after every time they wear it, especially if they have sneezed or coughed into it. The only exemption to wearing masks is if you have any physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability “and would experience” severe distress from doing so.
There is no current plan for masks to be worn by students in schools as government have said if younger children fiddle or adjust masks by touching their face this may increase risk of infection.
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