Face covering requirements expanded from 8th August


Everyone must wear masks in shops and restaurants, controllers of premises can insist they are worn and the government had not always intended to increase the requirements for wearing masks.


The law in relation to wearing face coverings in shops has not changed in principle from 24th July 2020. We explain the law and important exemptions and exclusions in an earlier post, Face covering for 6 to 12 months from 24th July.  However, from 8th August, the meaning of ‘shop’ has been expanded dramatically. This has been achieved by simply deleting the list of premises previously excluded, so one might expect this deletion and expansion had been planned some time ago.

8th August expansion

More specifically, ‘shop’ means any building or room open to the public that is used mainly for the purposes of retail sale or hire of goods or services.

Put another way, wherever you go to buy or hire goods or services (including professional services), you are expected to wear a face covering.

Below is the list of previously excluded premises where, from 8th August, face covering is now required, not by guidance but by law. Do, however, read our previous post:

  • Public libraries and public reading rooms.
  • Premises providing professional, legal or financial services.
  • Premises (other than registered pharmacies) providing wholly or mainly medical…
  • Veterinary services.
  • Cinemas.
  • Theatres.
  • Museums, galleries (other than for the sale or hire of artwork), aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites
  • Nightclubs.
  • Dance halls.
  • Bingo halls.
  • Concert halls, exhibition halls or other public hall.
  • Conference and exhibition centres.
  • Indoor fitness studios, gyms, dance studios, leisure centres, indoor swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys, funfairs, theme parks, amusement arcades, indoor soft play areas, skating rinks or other premises for indoor sports, leisure, adventure or recreation activities
  • Indoor sports arenas or stadia.
  • Casinos.
  • Hotels and hostels.
  • Spas.
  • Nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers.
  • Tattoo and piercing parlours.
  • Massage parlours.
  • Storage and distribution centres.
  • Funeral directors.
  • Photography studios.
  • Auction houses.

The list of premises that remain excluded and where face covering is not required is:

  • Premises (other than registered pharmacies) providing wholly or mainly medical or dental services, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractic, osteopathic, optometry or other medical services including services relating to mental health.
  • Indoor fitness studios, gyms, dance studios, leisure centres, indoor swimming pools, water parks, funfairs, theme parks or other premises for indoor sports, leisure or adventure activities.
  • Photography studios.


Wales Welsh Flag Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

The Welsh Assembly Government, led by First Minister Mark Drakeford, Wales has followed suit in making wearing of face coverings on public transport ‘compulsory’ from 27th July 2020. This is supported by further and extraordinary guidance, given it has the force of law in Wales, not to do such things as read a newspaper, sing, or run for the train if you are late.

We await his decision in relation to requirements to wear face coverings more widely.  As for the continuation of the lockdown in Wales, you may wish to read Welcome to Wales.  Many may fear his guidance will result in the requirements being very more widely indeed.


Warning: Law and circumstances can change very quickly.  Please note the date of publication of any blog post and check for any updates on the issues addressed. In any event, we do not condone or encourage breaching the law and neither the above nor any information posted on this website constitutes legal advice. It must not be relied upon as such and specialist legal advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances. Please read our disclaimer.

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11 thoughts on “Face covering requirements expanded from 8th August”

  1. 1. Premises (other than registered pharmacies) providing wholly or mainly medical or dental
    services, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractic, osteopathic, optometry or other medical
    services including services relating to mental health.

    This section of the face covering in a relevant place implies to me that hospitals fall in this category. Is this so?

  2. Covid Whistleblower

    Thanks for all your great work on this. What about offices, schools or universities? Are they defined as public spaces? Because they’re not in one sense in that you are not allowed to be on them unless you work there or are a student. My university is now promoting the use of masks inside offices and at desks for up to 8 hours. With no consulation and I doubt they did a risk assessment. They are trying to say it’s ‘strongly encouraged,’ but at the same time, using language that masks ‘must be’ or should’ be worn.’ It’s ludicrous.

  3. I work for a council
    Today 14/08/20 the garage reception has made it compulsory to wear a mask.
    As I have copd and asthma I am exempt.
    If they do not allow me in the garage reception am I ok to say
    I am exempt ( I believe I have no need to tell them this any how)
    If they refuse access am I right in informing them that I am discriminated against under the 2010 equality act. And as such I feel humiliated and distressed. And will be taking this decision to my solicitors.
    Would the GMB union stand at my side also?

  4. There seems to be a lot of places on your list of relevant places that do not appear either in Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the regulation. Such as, Nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers.

    Can you explain how you have interpreted the regulation to include these places please?

  5. Having just read the explanatory note which states that what has been removed as exempt not becomes a relevant place. I assume I have interpreted that correctly? And this is done to confuse people like myself who would otherwise have argued rigidly that the salons etc. are not listed as relevant places in the latest regulation.

    This whole farce is exhausting.

  6. So ” must wear a mask” in gyms, pools, water parks etc but then excluded in “exclusions”
    Is this a typo or just normal government idiocy?

  7. Please could you expand this to cover what is/is not required by law in churches and other places of worship? Thank you so much for all you do – it’s really helpful, and so encouraging to get to know the law for myself and to feel that I don’t have to be intimidated by the government!

    1. can i bump this excellent question from Becky! 🙂 appreciate all you do so much… I know you have a job, so not too much pressure. But how badly busted would we be if all of our church wasn’t wearing a mask?

  8. I read that it was unlawful to fine someone before it had gone to court, making the fines null and void?

  9. I’d like to know what the law says about taking a driving test and wearing a mask in relation to Autism.

  10. It seems to me that, from the on-line government guidance on face coverings, anyone can claim they suffer distress being forcibly masked and so claim exemption. This is my excuse for not wearing one and, as per the guidance, I have printed my little exemption certificate. It appears, to me, there is no requirement for me to explain or prove this to anyone.

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