As we all now are aware, face coverings are mandatory in shops, covered public places and on public transport across the UK. It has now been made a law, and people who do not comply face fines of £100. Our streets are now filled with many individuals sporting all different kinds of face masks, but sometimes we may see someone who isn’t following the rules, which might make you think, who is exempt from wearing a face covering?
We have to be mindful that in some circumstances, some people may be less able to wear a face covering than others, and their reasoning for doing so may not be all that visible to others. People who may be exempt from wearing a face covering includes, but is not limited to:
- 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)
- people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- employees of indoor settings (or people acting on their behalf, such as someone leading part of a prayer service) or transport workers (see section 6) – although employers may consider their use where appropriate and where other mitigations are not in place, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines
- police officers and other emergency workers, given that this may interfere with their ability to serve the public
- where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
- to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others – including if it would negatively impact on your ability to exercise or participate in a strenuous activity
There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering:
- 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, for assessing health recommendations (e.g. by a pharmacist), or for age identification purposes including when buying age restricted products such as alcohol
- if required in order to receive treatment or services, for example when getting a haircut
- in order to take medication
- if you are delivering a sermon or prayer in a place or worship
- if you are the persons getting married in a relevant place
- if you are undertaking exercise or an activity and it would negatively impact your ability to do so
Face coverings are not required in restaurants with table service, bars, and pubs. If removing your face covering to eat or drink in an indoor premises with a café or designated seating area, then you can remove your face covering in this area only.
Face coverings are not required in restaurants with table service, bars, and pubs. If other indoor premises have a café or seating area for you to eat and drink, then you can remove your face covering in this area only. You must put a face covering back on once you leave your seating area.If removing your face covering to eat or drink in an indoor premises with a café or designated seating area, then you can remove your face covering in this area only.
These are the government recommended guidelines for wearing a face covering. At Bags of Ethics we have developed a range of reusable face coverings that are beneficial to both people and planet. They are washable, reusable, and contain no single-use plastic. We have developed them in conjunction with British and European scientists, who have advised us and stipulated the specific requirements needed to help effectively stop the spread of COVID-19. We have partnered with The British Fashion Council and 6 British Designers who have helped us to create this range of face coverings which encompasses great design and style whilst helping to protect both people and planet.
To see the range, visit https://bagsofethics.org/shop/