Here are the places you still need to wear a face mask - and where it's just recommended

With face masks no longer being a requirement from today as the country takes it final step out of lockdown, there are still a number of places people are 'strongly advised' to cover up.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 2:57 pm
Updated Monday, 19th July 2021, 3:25 pm

Health Secretary Sajid Javid made the announcement to the House of Commons last week, saying that face masks will no longer be a legal requirement from today (July 19).

But he did say that face coverings are recommended in certain enclosed areas.

Here's what it means:

Here are the places you still need to wear a face mask - and where it's just recommended

Doctors and Hospitals

NHS patients, staff and visitors must continue to wear face coverings in health care settings.

Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance remains in place for all staff and visitors.

That means NHS visitor guidance will stay in place across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dental practices, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected.

Staff, patients and visitors will also be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting any care setting as well as using face coverings, mask and other personal protection equipment.

Buses

Passengers are strongly advised to wear masks on crowded buses and trains to cut transmission, although it's up to individual travel operators as to what rules they enforce.

Use of masks in bus stations and interchanges are still required, unless exempt.

Trains

Train operators will not require passengers to wear face coverings on services from today, although they do still expect people to follow government guidance in wearing a mask when the train is busy.

Working

There is guidance from the government regarding people who work in offices, warehouses, factories etc. It says to consider encouraging the use of face coverings by workers, particularly in indoor areas where they may come into contact with people they don't normally meet.

Learner drivers

If you're learning to drive or taking your test, you will still need to wear a face covering, unless you’re exempt, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) says.

When you book, you need to say if there’s a good reason you cannot wear a face covering when you take your test, including having a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering, putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress or you need to remove it during your test to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others.

Hairdressers/barbers

It's not a legal requirement for workers and people visiting hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, nail technicians, to wear masks, it's up to the individual business to decide if they wish to enforce the rule or not.

Pubs and other hospitality places

There is also guidance for people who own, run or work in restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes, nightclubs and takeaways, saying it is up to the individual business as to whether they enforce it.

Again, it's advised they use signs to encourage face masks by customers and workers, particularly indoors.

Shopping centres

Trinity Walk said on their website: "As of Monday July 19, we will be removing all our one-way systems, fences and social distancing posters. However, the virus hasn't gone away so we will be continuing our extra cleaning, encourage everyone to keep sanitising their hands using the cleaner we/stores provide, give each other plenty of space and it remains card payment only for all parking charges.

"While it's no longer the law as of July 19 to wear face coverings inside places like shops we are encouraging people to keep wearing them as a personal choice indoors while national restrictions are safely and steadily lifted.

"Some businesses are directly asking people to wear a face covering before entering their store, so please do so to help keep you and others safe.

"We're an open air, spacious shopping centre so there's plenty of space for everyone to safely visit, shop, eat, drink, meet and enjoy another step towards normality. Thank you for your ongoing support during this entire pandemic, you have been incredible.

"Our toilets are back open, as is our Frederick Street entrance (near New Look), and we're kindly asking customers to please wear a face covering if they can before entering the toilets for other people's safety to help stop the spread of the virus."

Supermarkets

Asda will have signage and announcements to encourage customers to follow government guidance and will continue to provide face coverings in shops for people who wish to use them.

Aldi said they will also continue to encourage customers and colleagues to wear face coverings when they’re in store.

Tesco has said it will encourage its customers and shop workers to continue wearing masks in its supermarkets from July 19.

Sainsbury's said they will encourage all customers to wear face coverings if they can. Colleagues will be encouraged to wear face coverings and all Sainsbury’s leadership teams will continue to do the same when in store.

Morrisons said it is currently waiting for the government plan and workplace guidance to be published.