Face mask rule changes: What are the new face mask rules that start tomorrow?

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Face masks are now an integral element of everyday life, to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Britons are slowly getting used to wearing face masks in shops and on public transport, and now from Saturday, August 8, the rules will include more areas where face coverings are mandatory.

Face masks stop the spread of respiratory droplets, the main way scientists believe coronavirus is spread.

Respiratory droplets can come from both your nose and mouth, meaning covering these will decrease chances of any virus spreading.

As the UK slowly opens up after months of lockdown, one way Britons can go about everyday life is to make sure they have a face mask.

Now new rules are coming into effect, and so has explained these below.

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What are the new face mask rules which start tomorrow?

From Saturday, August 8, face masks or coverings will be mandatory in more places – including museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new guidelines at a Downing Street press conference.

He said: “We will also extend the requirement to wear a face covering to other indoor settings where you are likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.

“We now recommend face coverings are worn in these settings, and this will become enforceable in law from August 8.”

The Prime Minister added: “Most people in this country are following the rules and doing their best to control the virus.

“But we must keep our discipline and our focus and we cannot be complacent.

“I have asked the Home Secretary to work with the police and others to ensure the rules which are already in place are properly enforced.”

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This means “a greater police presence to ensure face coverings are being worn where this is required”.

So where are all the places you have to wear a face mask?

  • All public transport – including, buses, trains, London Underground, planes, some taxis, ferries
  • All shops – including enclosed shopping centres
  • In cafes and restaurants if taking away food
  • Funeral directors
  • Premises providing professional, legal or financial services
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres

  • Bingo halls
  • Concert halls
  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist attractions, heritage or cultural sites
  • Nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers – other than where necessary to remove for treatments
  • Massage centres
  • Public areas in hotels and hostels
  • Places of worship
  • Libraries and public reading rooms
  • Community centres
  • Social clubs
  • Tattoo and piercing parlours
  • Indoor entertainment venues – such as amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities including laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms and heritage sites
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Veterinary services
  • Auction houses
  • Post Offices
  • Banks
  • Airports

Some people are exempt from wearing face masks, either due to age, health or other reasons.

The groups of face mask exemptions are –

  • A child under the age of 11
  • An employee of the transport operator, when they are acting in the course of their employment
  • A constable or police community support officer acting in the course of their duty
  • An emergency response member of staff, such as a paramedic or fire officer acting in the course of their duty
  • An official such as a border force officer, acting in the course of their duty
  • If you are onboard public transport but remain in your own vehicle, such as a car ferry

Other exemptions can be for those with physical or mental illness, those with a disability and anyone travelling with a deaf person who relies on lip-reading.

If you are buying age-restricted items in a supermarket, you can also remove your mask for ID check purposes.

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