Face coverings mandatory from today
Date published: 24 July 2020
Photo: Halfpoint - stock.adobe.com
Coverings are now mandatory in shops and other settings
Face coverings when visiting shops and supermarkets are now mandatory as of today, Friday (24 July).
Coverings are mandatory in enclosed public spaces such as supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, banks and post offices as well as takeaways.
Coverings must cover your nose and mouth, and do not require the use of medical masks, which are for the use of frontline staff.
You will be expected to wear a face covering before entering any shop or supermarket and must keep this on until you leave. 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.
Retailers and businesses will not be expected to enforce the regulations, which will be carried out by police, but shop employees should ‘encourage’ compliance.
Children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt, like on public transport.
The government has set out advice for people on how to make their own face coverings easily at home, using scarves or other textile items. These face coverings should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably and can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.
Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting your face covering on and after taking it off; and it is important that you don’t touch your face covering when wearing it, where possible, to avoid hand-to-mask transmission of the virus.
The public has been advised to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces – where they may meet people they wouldn’t usually – since 11 May, with the use of face coverings becoming mandatory on public transport a month later.
Anyone who doesn’t abide by the regulations – and is not exempt under one of the categories set out in the regulations – could face a fine by the police of up to £100, as is currently the case on public transport.
Locally, Rochdale has the following precautions in place to prevent a local lockdown due to high case numbers of Covid-19:
- Wear face coverings in public as much as possible
- Limit visitors to your home to two people
- Keep two metres apart at all times
- Avoid physical contact with anyone outside your own household, including shaking hands or hugging
- Get tested and isolate if you are told to do so
Deputy Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Aasim Rashid, said: “We have to follow health guidelines to protect our families, loved ones and communities.
“We have to fight this pandemic collectively to bring our daily life back to normal. It is our duty to co-operate with police, council officers and public health officials. Salute to dedicated NHS staff to looking after all of us in a difficult time.”
He continued: “With Eid celebrations coming at the end of next week, I will request all Muslim brothers and sisters to avoid any family gatherings and follow all government guidelines to bring the infection rate down.
“Rochdale Council of Mosque is working closely with Rochdale Council to bring awareness in communities. Rochdale Council is doing everything possible to keep the communities safe and healthy.”
The council is sending out an information leaflet to every home in the borough.
There are two walk-through testing centres in Rochdale and Middleton town centres and one drive-through testing centre in Rochdale at the Crown Oil Arena.
Residents can book a coronavirus test by calling the free phone number 0808 1964 100 to book an appointment or by visiting the NHS website.
Local information about coronavirus can be found at:
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