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Wearing a face covering

Wearing a face covering in a number of public places and on transport is now mandatory in England, although there are some exemptions.

If you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, a face covering may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.

Some people are exempt from the rules including:

  • children under 11
  • people with disabilities
  • those with breathing difficulties
  • anyone with someone who relies on lip reading

The government have provided more guidance on when you do not need to wear a face covering. If you would like to use an exemption card, or an image you can display to people on your phone, you can download these from the GOV.UK website.

Where should I wear a mask?

The list of places where members of the public will have to wear a face covering includes:

  • shops and supermarkets
  • shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
  • funeral directors
  • premises providing professional, legal or financial services
  • public areas in hotels and hostels
  • places of worship
  • community centres
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • veterinary services
  • petrol stations

Anyone travelling by bus, train, ferry or plane in England must wear a face covering. People can be refused travel if they don't follow the rules, and can be fined as a last resort.

What is the most effective way to wear a mask?

Always wash your hands before you put your face covering on and after you take it off, and make sure the mask covers your nose and mouth.

Don't touch the front of the face covering - when you are taking the face covering off, do it from behind using the strings.

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