Everything you need to know about face coverings

Everything you need to know about face coverings

As of the 24th of July, face coverings became mandatory in places within the UK, in order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. So, by now we all should be no stranger to the sight of face coverings, but when it comes to wearing a face-covering what are the exact rules?

What exactly are face coverings? And Why do we need to wear them?

Face coverings in relation to COVID-19 apply to something which safely covers your nose and mouth. Available as a disposable mask, bandanas or handmade masks, face-coverings come in all shapes and sizes, but it is extremely important a face-covering fits securely around the side of your face when wearing for it to be effective.

Face coverings are not classified as PPE (personal protective equipment) such as surgical masks. Although face coverings may protect you from COVID-19 their sole purpose is the protect others from the virus.

In conjunction with other COVID-19 guidance, such as the regular washing of hands and social distancing measures, the wearing of face coverings is vital in playing a part in reducing the transmission of the virus.

Fighting COVID-19 is a process and here at Bio Decon, we have been working to make our world a safer place to live in. We provide specialist decontamination services to a wide range of sectors throughout the UK.

When and where are you required to wear a face-covering?

Last month face coverings became mandatory in a range of places within England. So now, by law, you are required to wear a face-covering in selected environments. Such as:

• Travelling on any public transport and attending their transport hub facilities.
• Shops and supermarkets, including shopping centres and indoor markets.
• Beauty treatment and personal care facilities such as the hairdressers, nail salons or tattoo and piercing studios.
• Post offices and the bank.
• Visitor and entertainment attraction such as the cinema, theme parks and galleries.
• Places of worship.
• Libraries.
• Community centres and social clubs.

Everyone is expected to wear a face-covering in these environments unless exempt. Those attending NHS facilities are also required to wear a face covering. Failing to comply with the law could result in enforcement measures such as fines.

When is the wearing of a face-covering not required?

Under certain circumstances face coverings are not required whereas others may be exempt from wearing them. Such as:

• Those under the age of 11. It is worth mentioning public Health England do not encourage children under the age 3 to wear face coverings for health and safety reasons.
• If wearing a face covering would cause severe distress, cause harm or negatively impact your ability to engage within physical activities or exercise.
• If you need to provide assistance to someone who requires clear communication such as lip-reading.
• Emergency workers and if wearing a face covering will impact their ability to conduct their job.
• Those who struggle to put on a face covering as a result of a disability, mental or physical illness.

Face coverings are also not required when receiving table service at either a bar, pub or restaurant. But before leaving an indoor service facility, a face covering must be worn once you leave the seating area.

If asked by the police, bank or shop for identification purposes your face-covering must be removed.

Depending on your work there may be different rules and guidelines on the wearing of face coverings. So be sure to check with your HR department if you are unsure about the exact rules on wearing face coverings at work.