More information:COVID-19 restrictions in Kirklees
A face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth to protect others against the spread of infection. Coronavirus (COVID-19 is usually spread by droplets of coughs, sneezes and speaking, so coverings help reduce the spread of coronavirus transmission and help to protect others. These droplets can also be picked up from surfaces, if you touch a surface and then your face without washing your hands first. This is why social distancing, regular hand hygiene, covering coughs and sneezes and wearing a face covering when required is so important in controlling the spread of the virus. Read more on Coronavirus prevention and health advice.
When a face covering must be worn
There are some places where you must wear a face covering by law. You are expected to wear a face covering before entering the following indoor settings and must keep it on until you leave unless their is a reasonable excuse for removing it:
- public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams and buses) and transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations, bus and coach stations etc.)
- shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
- shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
- premises providing professional, legal or financial services (post offices, banks, building societies, high-street solicitors and accountants)
- premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (hair salons, barbets, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing palours)
- premises providing veterinary services
- visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, aquariums, indoor zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, indoor sports stadiums, funfairs, theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas)
- libraries and public reading rooms
- places of worship
- NHS settings, including hospitals and GP surgeries
A full extensive list can be found at Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own
You should also wear a face covering in indoor places not listed here where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
There are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering. These include:
- children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommend face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
- people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment or disability
- employees of indoor settings or transport workers - although employers may consider their use where appropriate
- police officers and other emergency workers, given that this may interfere with their ability to serve the public
- where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
- to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others - including if it would negatively impact on your ability to exercise or participate in a strenuous activity
There are also other scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering:
- if asked to do so in a bank, building society or post office or by shop staff or relevant employees for identification for assessing health recommendations (e.g. by a pharmacist) or for age identification purposes when buying age restricted products e.g. alcohol.
- if required in order to receive treatment or services e.g. getting a haircut
- in order to take medication
- if you are delivering a sermon or prayer in a place of worship
Face coverings are not required in restaurants with table service, bars and pubs. If removing your face covering to eat or drink in an indoor premises with a cafe or designated seating area, 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.
How to wear a face covering
A face covering should:
- cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
- fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
- be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
- be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
- ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)
- unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged
Making your own face covering
If you want to make your own face covering , instructions are widely available online.
Evidence suggests that the risk of transmission may be reduced using thicker fabrics or mulitple layers, but the face covering should still be breathable.