On the 24th July 2020 in East Devon it became law that you have to wear a face covering when on public transport such as buses and training and is shops and supermarkets.
If you do not wear a facemask without good reason, transport companies can refuse to let you board the buses and trains or make you wear one. The police can also offer fines of £100 (reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days) and local shops and supermarkets are expected to encourage you to comply with law and can refuse you entry.
We are all encouraged to wear face coverings in enclosed areas where social distancing is difficult, but not for pupils in schools.
There are some exemptions to this rule, and everyone is asked to be respectful for people not wearing face covering because they might have a legitimate reason not to wear them.
The following list comes from Gov UK guidance:
- young children under the age of 11
- 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, but only if you need to
- to take medication
- if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering
You may also be asked by shop staff and pub staff to remove your face covering for identification purposes when buying alcohol or other age related products.
You may also remove your mask to help people who are deaf lip read.
Employers should be following Covid 19 secure guidelines, so it may not be necessary for you to have to wear your face covering when returning to work. Screens, visors may be in use instead. Your employer should be following risks assessments when you return to work using guidance from the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. These assessments will be used to inform decisions and other control measures to keep you safe instead.
Lots of retailers are selling face coverings but there are instructions widely available online if you want to make your own face covering. It is suggested that thicker fabrics or multiple layers are better at reducing the risk of transmitting the virus, but they need to be comfortable.
Children using face coverings should only do so under strict supervision and should be secured to the head by ear loops only.
Be careful when removing the mask, and store them in a plastic bag until you have a chance to wash it on a normal cycle. Disposable masks should be put in the black bins as they are not recyclable.
Maintain normal hygiene and if you are enjoying eating out at a restaurant (with the big discounts at this time) please don’t put your face covering on the table.