Staff at Nostalgia Tea Rooms in Southport

New rules on when and where to wear face masks or face coverings will be extended this weekend. 

Face masks will be compulsory in museums, galleries, cinemas, places of worship and other venues in Southport and across the UK from this Saturday, August 8.

It is already compulsory to wear face coverings in a range of place, including public transport, supermarkets and shops. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement at a press conference last week (July 31). 

He: “We will extend the requirement to wear a face covering to other indoor settings where you are likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship. We now recommend face coverings are worn in these settings, and this will become enforceable in law from August 8.”

Read More: Merseyside firm produces virus-resistant face masks to protect people against Coronavirus

In England, you must wear a face covering by law in the following places: 

  • public transport
  • indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • indoor shopping centres
  • banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)

You are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave.

For members of the public, from Saturday, August 8 the places where you will have to wear a face covering will be expanded to include:

  • funeral directors
  • premises providing professional, legal or financial services
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • bingo halls
  • concert halls
  • museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites.
  • nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers – other than where necessary to remove for treatments
  • massage centres
  • public areas in hotels and hostels
  • place of worship
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • community centres
  • social clubs
  • tattoo and piercing parlours
  • indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities e.g. laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites etc)
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • veterinary services.
  • auction houses

The Government recommends that face coverings are worn in these places now but this will not be mandatory until 8 August. 

People are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

Face coverings are also needed in NHS settings, including hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. They are advised to be worn in care homes. Individual settings may have their own policies and require you to take other measures.

Where this law does not apply

Face coverings are not required in restaurants with table service, bars, and pubs.

You can remove your face covering in order to eat and drink if reasonably necessary. This should be in an area that is specifically for the purposes of eating and drinking, such as a food court.

If a shop or supermarket has a café or seating area for you to eat and drink, then you can remove your face covering in this area only. You must put a face covering back on once you leave your seating area.

The government’s guidance for keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services clearly advises that designated indoor seating areas for customers to eat or drink should at this time only be open for table service, where possible, alongside additional infection control measures.

Enforcement measures for failing to comply with this law

Measures can be taken if people do not comply with this law without a valid exemption.

Shops, supermarkets and other premises where face coverings are required are encouraged to take reasonable steps to promote compliance with the law and could refuse entry to anyone who does not have a valid exemption.

Transport operators can deny access to their public transport services if a passenger is not wearing a face covering, or direct them to wear one or leave a service if they are not wearing a face covering.

If necessary, the police and Transport for London (TfL) officers have enforcement powers including issuing fines of £100 (halving to £50 if paid within 14 days).

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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