Compulsory Face Covering Rules Now in Force


The rules on wearing face coverings in England and Scotland have been extended from 8 August 2020.

People must now wear face masks in museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship, as well as shops, indoor shopping centres, transport hubs, supermarkets, takeaways, banks and on public transport.

The mandatory requirements have become enforceable by law. Failure to follow the new rules can result in a £100 fine. This will be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

Those who have a legitimate reason may be exempt from the requirement to wear a face covering, such as:

  • Children under the age of 11. Under Public Health England guidance, face coverings are not advised for children under 3.
  • Not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability.
  • If putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress.
  • If you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.
  • To avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others.
  • To avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • To eat or drink if reasonably necessary.
  • In order to take medication.
  • If a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering.

From 8 August 2020, face coverings are mandatory in:

  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Bingo halls
  • Concert halls
  • Premises providing professional, legal or financial services
  • Funeral directors
  • Nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers – other than where necessary to remove for treatments massage centres
  • Public areas in hotels and hostels
  • Places of worship
  • Libraries and public reading rooms
  • Community centres
  • Social clubs
  • Tattoo and piercing parlours
  • Indoor entertainment venues – like amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities including laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms and heritage sites
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Veterinary services
  • Auction houses


Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

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