From 28 February, adults and children aged 11 and over will no longer be required to wear face coverings in many indoor places, with the exception of the public areas of health and social care settings; in all retail settings and public transport.
WG will continue to recommend in their guidance that wearing face coverings is one of many behaviours which can help keep others safe, especially the most vulnerable.
The legal requirement to wear a face covering, unless exempt, now applies to the following indoor public areas:
- Retail premises (including financial services providers, post offices and shopping centres);
- Premises of veterinary surgeons and animal grooming services;
- Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off points;
- Estate or letting agents, developer sales offices and show homes;
- Close contact services (hair salons and barbers, nail and beauty salons including tanning and electrolysis services, and body piercing and tattooing services);
- Premises used for the provision of takeaway food;
- Premises used for the provision of medical or health services;
- Premises used for the provision of particular social care services: a care home service, a secure accommodation service [or a residential family centre service] (for the protection of residents, the face covering requirement applies in these premises even when the public do not have access to the premises); and
- Public transport and taxis
The amendments mean that face covering requirements no longer apply to particular types of premises that are open to the public (for example, leisure and entertainment premises, and visitor attractions).
If the public health conditions continue to improve, the legal requirement to wear face coverings in all remaining settings could be lifted by the end of March.
The next three-weekly review of the coronavirus regulations will be carried out by 3 March, when the remaining measures at alert level zero will be reviewed.