Face coverings are to become obligatory for individuals utilizing public transport in England from Monday 15 June.
Additionally, all hospital visitors and outpatients will have to wear face coverings and all staff will have to wear surgical masks always, in all areas.
Face coverings are already advisable in some enclosed spaces – like public transport and shops – when social distancing is not possible.
What are the new guidelines?
The move to compulsory face coverings on buses, trains, ferries and planes, and the new rules for hospitals, will coincide with a further easing of lockdown restrictions.
From 15 June, ministers want more non-essential retailers to open and a few secondary school pupils to return to classes. This could put more pressure on public transport, and make social distancing more difficult.
The government has confused that folks ought to:
Continue working from house if they will do so
Keep away from public transport if they can not work from dwelling
Avoid the push hour if they need to take public transport
Some passengers will be exempt from the new rules:
These with breathing difficulties
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said passengers ought to wear “the type of face covering you possibly can easily make at house”. Surgical masks needs to be kept for medical uses.
He told BBC News that while scientists aren’t in full agreement about face coverings, “we think it’s worth doing absolutely everything possible” to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
How will the new rules be enforced?
Mr Shapps said it would be a “situation of travel” to wear a face covering and people could be refused journey – and even fined – if they didn’t comply with the rules.
He said British Transport Police would implement the regulation if necessary – however he hoped most travellers would comply.
Details of the rules might be displayed at stations. Transport workers may even wear face coverings, and volunteer marshals, known as “journey makers”, will give advice.
What’s the present advice?
Till now the government advice in England has said you need to wear face coverings:
On public transport and in some shops, where social distancing can’t be noticed
In different enclosed areas the place you come into contact with others you don’t normally meet
It also stresses that personal face coverings:
Don’t change social distancing – which should still be observed
Should not be confused with surgical masks or respirators, which should be left for healthcare staff and different workers who want them
Shouldn’t be worn by very young children or individuals who have problems breathing while wearing a face covering
What about the remainder of the UK?
In Scotland, it is strongly recommended that you just consider utilizing face coverings in restricted circumstances – resembling public transport – as a precautionary measure.
In Northern Ireland, people ought to have face coverings in enclosed areas for short intervals of time, where social distancing isn’t possible.
Currently, the Welsh government doesn’t ask for folks to wear non-medical face coverings – saying it’s a “matter of personal selection”.
Why does not everybody wear a mask now?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its guidelines on wearing face masks, previously only recommending them for people who find themselves sick and showing signs and those caring for individuals suspected to have coronavirus.
It now recommends that non-medical face coverings needs to be worn on public transport and in some enclosed work environments.
It additionally advises that healthcare workers ought to wear medical masks when providing any affected person care.
People over 60 and those with underlying health circumstances, the WHO says, should wear medical masks when social distancing can’t be achieved.