The UK government has announced that face coverings are now compulsory in England for retail staff, taxi drivers, and indoor hospitality workers to help control the spread of the coronavirus.
Prime minister Boris Johnson has extended the requirement to wear face coverings to include shop workers, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles, and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
Face coverings are already compulsory in shops, supermarkets and shopping centres, and for anyone travelling on public transport in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, unless they have an exemption or a reasonable excuse.
The UK government is currently not recommending face coverings in schools, although in Scotland and Northern Ireland, secondary school pupils must wear face coverings between lessons.
In England and Scotland, face coverings are also compulsory in a number of indoor public spaces, such as: banks, building societies and post offices; places of worship; museums, galleries and entertainment venues; and libraries and public reading rooms. In Wales, face coverings are required in shops and indoor public places, while in Northern Ireland, face coverings are compulsory in shops, as well as “any other indoor place where goods or services are available to buy or rent”.
Those not required to wear face masks in public spaces include: children under 11 in England, and under five in Scotland; those unable to put on, or wear a face covering, due to a physical or mental illness or disability; people for whom wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress; and anyone assisting a person who relies on lip reading to communicate.