Health Care

Coronavirus: New face covering rules come into force in England

Coronavirus: New face covering rules come into force in England”

The CDC recommends wearing face coverings in public.

The use of face covering in shops became compulsory in England on Friday to help stop the spread of coronavirus, with shoppers facing a £100 fine if they do not comply.

This includes when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops, like Pret A Manger.

Police can hand out fines of up to £100 to those who do not comply.

Unison official Jon Richards also said the United Kingdom "was late to the table on face coverings and now people don't know what they should do".

However, places like restaurants, pubs and gyms will all be exempt from the restrictions.

The new rules make it illegal for people not to wear a mask in the settings listed above.

He said: "Tomorrow's measures are long overdue - especially given the 10-day time lag between the announcement and implementation".

"So, while today's guidance is in some ways helpful, the uncertainty of recent weeks has done nothing to inspire public confidence".

But some retailers have insisted they will not enforce the rule.

More news: Coronavirus symptoms: CDC says they last longer than expected for some

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said takeaway outlets had been left with "a very short time to properly brief staff, prepare signage and take steps to encourage compliance". "Please wear your mask for your entire visit".

Sainsbury's, the second largest supermarket chain in the country, said on social media: "We won't be challenging customers without a mask when they enter or when they are in store since they may have a reason not to wear a mask".

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: 'Abuse of shop staff is never acceptable, but verbal and physical abuse rose during the pandemic, and the new rules requiring shoppers to wear masks may further risk staff safety. Children under the age of 11 are not required to wear masks.

But the Government now says there is evidence to suggest that wearing a face covering, when done correctly, can reduce the chances of someone who has coronavirus passing it on to others.

The requirement to wear face coverings at transport hubs - railway and bus stations, airports and maritime ports - only applies for those areas which are fully indoors and enclosed.

The rules do not apply restaurants, gyms, and pubs, which means you will need to wear a mask when buying food in a takeaway like Greggs, but not when having a sitdown meal in a pub.

Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has said that police in London would only enforce the wearing of coverings in shops "as a last resort" - if people not wearing a covering refused to leave a shop or became "aggressive".

The Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents rank-and-file officers, said it was "unrealistic and unfair" to expect them to patrol the aisles looking for people breaking the coronavirus regulations.

The Government this afternoon finally published its formal guidance on where the wearing of masks will now be mandatory.

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