Face coverings are to turn into obligatory for folks using public transport in England from Monday 15 June.
Also, all hospital guests and outpatients should wear face coverings and all staff must wear surgical masks always, in all areas.
Face coverings are already advisable in some enclosed areas – like public transport and shops – when social distancing isn’t possible.
What are the new rules?
The move to obligatory face coverings on buses, trains, ferries and planes, and the new guidelines for hospitals, will coincide with an extra easing of lockdown restrictions.
From 15 June, ministers need more non-essential retailers to open and a few secondary school pupils to return to classes. This could put more pressure on public transport, and make social distancing more difficult.
The government has confused that individuals ought to:
Proceed working from dwelling if they will do so
Avoid public transport if they cannot work from home
Avoid the frenzy hour if they must take public transport
Some passengers shall be exempt from the new guidelines:
These with breathing difficulties
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said passengers should wear “the form of face covering you may simply make at home”. Surgical masks ought to be kept for medical uses.
He told BBC News that while scientists aren’t in full agreement about face coverings, “we think it is worth doing absolutely everything possible” to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
How will the new guidelines be enforced?
Mr Shapps said it might be a “situation of journey” to wear a face covering and other people might be refused journey – and even fined – if they didn’t comply with the rules.
He said British Transport Police would implement the regulation if vital – however he hoped most travellers would comply.
Details of the principles will likely be displayed at stations. Transport staff can even wear face coverings, and volunteer marshals, known as “journey makers”, will give advice.
What is the present advice?
Till now the federal government advice in England has said it’s best to wear face coverings:
On public transport and in some shops, the place social distancing cannot be noticed
In other enclosed areas the place you come into contact with others you don’t normally meet
It additionally stresses that personal face coverings:
Don’t exchange social distancing – which ought to nonetheless be observed
Shouldn’t be confused with surgical masks or respirators, which should be left for healthcare employees and different workers who need them
Shouldn’t be worn by very younger children or individuals who have problems breathing while wearing a face covering
What about the remainder of the UK?
In Scotland, it is suggested that you consider utilizing face coverings in limited circumstances – corresponding to public transport – as a precautionary measure.
In Northern Ireland, individuals ought to have face coverings in enclosed areas for brief periods of time, the place social distancing will not be possible.
At the moment, the Welsh authorities does not ask for individuals to wear non-medical face coverings – saying it’s a “matter of personal alternative”.
Why doesn’t everyone wear a mask now?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its guidelines on wearing face masks, beforehand only recommending them for people who find themselves sick and showing symptoms and people caring for individuals suspected to have coronavirus.
It now recommends that non-medical face coverings needs to be worn on public transport and in some enclosed work environments.
It also advises that healthcare workers ought to wear medical masks when providing any patient care.
Folks over 60 and those with underlying health situations, the WHO says, should wear medical masks when social distancing cannot be achieved.