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.
- 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
- 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.
- Hotels and hostels.
- 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.
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020
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.