COVID-19: What are the rules on wearing face masks in England? | UK News

The majority of legal restrictions on social contact in England have been removed as of today, but wearing masks is still recommended in some places.

As the country moves to the fourth stage of easing the lockdown, the government is removing COVID-19[female[feminine prevention measures and calls on people to take personal responsibility for protecting themselves and others from infection.

Face coverings will no longer be required by law, but the government has said it “expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.”

Some industries and companies have revealed what their rules will be for requiring face masks, but they will differ across the country.

Here are some of the main places and operators that have stipulated their rules on face coverings:

Public transport

This is the one area where the government has been more specific in recommending people wear face masks, although there is still no legal requirement as of July 19.

However, some public transport operators and mayors said they would continue to demand them.

Coach and bus

Most coach and bus passengers across England will not be required to wear face masks after the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), which represents 95% of buses and coaches, said it did not would not make them mandatory.

The CPT, which represents operators such as Stagecoach, First Group, Go Ahead and Arriva, said: “We expect that many people, especially in high-traffic areas, will follow the Prime Minister’s call to continue. to wear a face cover as a courtesy to others. “

Train passengers will not have to wear masks

The trains

No train passenger will be required to wear face masks, said the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents all UK train and tram operators.

He said “train travel is low risk” and asserted that most cars are “well ventilated by air conditioning systems or by doors and windows”.


In the capital, passengers on all Transport for London (TfL) services – including the tube, bus, tram, Docklands Light Railway, Overground and TfL Rail – will continue to wear face coverings in stations and throughout their journey, unless they are exempt.

Law enforcement officers in London will be able to deny access or eject passengers who do not comply with the mask requirement.

TfL will also ensure that drivers and passengers of taxis and private rental vehicles wear masks, unless otherwise specified.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan wears face cover as he travels on the underground
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said all TfL services would require passengers to wear face masks

West Yorkshire

Mayors in the regions have said people must continue to wear face masks indoors at West Yorkshire bus stations.

North East and Manchester

Passengers on the North East Tube and those on the Metrolink tram services in Greater Manchester and Manchester Airport will be required to wear a face covering.

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Liverpool City Area

Masks are mandatory on Mersey Ferries and the ferry terminal, and Mayor Steve Rotherham has said he wants them to be mandatory on all public transport but “doesn’t have the power.”

West Midlands

Mayor Andy Street said: “We expect passengers of all modes of public transportation to continue to wear face coverings to protect staff and vulnerable passengers.”


Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl, Waitrose and Co-op have said they will encourage clients to continue to use face masks in store but will not prevent those who do not.

As government guidelines say masks should be worn “in crowded areas,” that would indicate supermarkets.

But a spokeswoman for the cooperative, who like her rivals will support the continued use of masks, said she would not enforce the policy – highlighting fears it could be a “flashpoint for the violence and abuse “towards staff.

A woman wears a mask while traveling to the supermarket
Supermarkets have said it is up to staff and customers whether or not to wear a mask

Bars, pubs and restaurants

UK Hospitality, which represents the hospitality industry, said businesses will decide what works for them, but most have “invested heavily in making their sites COVID-safe so that they are in a good position to know what measures – if any – are necessary to reduce risk “.

The Greene King pub chain, which has more than 1,050 pubs including Hungry Horse and Loch Fyne Seafood, said staff and customers can choose whether or not to wear a mask.

Mitchells and Butlers, which operates around 1,700 pubs, bars and restaurants including Toby Carvery, O’Neills, Harvester, All Bar One and Browns, said the same.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said the ad chain will use the same measures agreed to in July 2020, including increased ventilation, screens and encouraging ordering and payment through its app, and will make face masks available. staff and customers if they want to wear them and keep the Test and Trace system, but this will not be mandatory.

A man sits in front of his laptop in a cafe, as pubs, cafes and restaurants in England reopen indoors as part of the latest easing of the coronavirus lockdown in Manchester.
Most reception areas have already had to be secured against COVID and they will decide on masks

Work places

Offices and places where people work are gray areas under government leadership, the unions said.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), which represents most unions in England and Wales, said workplaces should carry out risk assessments in consultation with employees and unions to determine what precautions to take.

He urges the government to “toughen its confusing and inadequate return-to-work safety guidelines – starting by making masks a legal requirement on public transport and in stores.”

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“Staff shortages will only get worse if people are not safe at work,” a TUC spokesperson said.

“And if we are to stop COVID-19 from ravaging the workplace, workers must be able to afford self-isolation.

“Ministers urgently need to raise sick pay to the level of the true living wage and ensure that everyone can get it.”

He added that employees who do not feel safe about COVID in the workplace should contact their union or the Health and Safety Executive.

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