The government has announced that face coverings should be worn in all shops from Friday 24th July. Until that date they are essential only on public transport.
Telford & Wrekin Council is making it mandatory to wear a face covering in Telford Libraries from 24th July.
You should be able to buy masks at chemists and some supermarkets, as well as online, eg Ebay or Amazon. You can also use a scarf rather than wear a mask.
Wearing face coverings correctly
Make sure you wear your face covering properly (or there’s no point). It should cover your nose, mouth and chin. The top of the mask should be against the bridge of your nose. If your glasses get steamed up, putting a folded tissue under the mask, right at the top, might help absorb the vapour from your breath. It can also help to tuck the top of the mask under your glasses. Click the link below for more helpful information.
In England, you must wear a face covering by law in the following settings:
- public transport
- indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
- shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
- indoor shopping centres
- banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)
You are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave.
You are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
Face coverings are also needed in NHS settings, including hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. They are advised to be worn in care homes. Individual settings may have their own policies and require you to take other measures.
You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to.
This includes (but is not limited to):
- young children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommended face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
- not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
- to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
- to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
- to eat or drink if reasonably necessary
- in order to take medication
- if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering
There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering when asked:
- if asked to do so in a bank, building society, or post office for identification
- if asked to do so by shop staff or relevant employees for identification, the purpose of assessing health recommendations, such as a pharmacist, or for age identification purposes including when buying age restricted products such as alcohol
- if speaking with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound. Some may ask you, either verbally or in writing, to remove a covering to help with communication
Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering.This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.
This is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.
Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering should not be routinely asked to give any written evidence of this. Written evidence includes exemption cards.