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(Page Updated on 23/02/2022)

In England, face coverings are no longer required by law:

The legal requirement to wear a face covering no longer applies. However, the government suggests that you continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

Customers, visitors or staff may choose to wear face coverings in any setting.

Face coverings and face masks will continue to be required in health and care settings to comply with infection prevention and control (IPC) and adult social care guidance. This includes hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. They must also be worn by everyone accessing or visiting care homes.

You are required to wear a face covering on entering these healthcare settings and must keep it on until you leave unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse for removing it.

There are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering:

Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances. Some people are less able to wear face coverings, and the reasons for this may not be visible to others.

This includes (but is not limited to):

  • children under the age of 11 (the UK Health Security Agency does not recommend face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
  • people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • people for whom putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress
  • people speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
  • to avoid the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
  • police officers and other emergency workers, given that this may interfere with their ability to serve the public