From today you must wear a mask when walking into a pub or restaurant, fines have been doubled as high as £6,400 and staff are no longer exempt. Here’s everything you need to know and the full list of exemptions

From today you must wear a mask when walking into a pub or restaurant, fines have been doubled as high as £6,400 and staff are no longer exempt. Here’s everything you need to know and the full list of exemptions

People in England must wear masks in pubs, restaurants, bars and theatres from today or face a fine of up to £6,400.
It’s also now compulsory to wear a face covering in taxis and private hire cars – and staff in pubs, restaurants and shops are no longer exempt.
But you are allowed to remove your mask to eat in a restaurant or drink in a pub – once you’re sat down.
The law has been expanded yet again as the government battles to curb escalating coronavirus cases.
Put simply, it’s now mandatory to wear a mask in pretty much every indoor public space in England.
Fines have been doubled as of today to £200 on a first offence, doubling on each repeat offence to a maximum of £6,400 if you get caught a sixth time.
Boris Johnson has tightened up the rules (Image: JESSICA TAYLOR/UK PARLIAMENT HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
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By ‘mask’ in this article we mean a face covering – it doesn’t have to be a surgical mask.
There are also a number of exemptions including for children under 11, while masks are actively discouraged for children under three years old.
With so many new rules it’s easy to lose track and accidentally break the law. So here’s a full list of where masks now apply.
Where the law says you have to wear a mask from this week
You must wear a face covering pretty much anywhere indoors, is the golden rule
You now have to wear a mask when you are in the following venues – on top of all the places you already had to wear one.
The exemption is when you need to remove it to eat or drink.
So you should wear a mask when you walk into the pub, but you can remove it once you’ve sat down and been served a pint or a meal.

  • Pubs
  • Restaurants
  • Bars including hotel bars
  • Theatres
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles

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Where you already had to wear a mask before this week

  • Shops and supermarkets
  • Public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams and buses)
  • Enclosed shopping centres
  • Banks and building societies
  • Post offices
  • Places of worship
  • Hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing parlours
  • Cinemas
  • Museums
  • Galleries
  • Aquariums
  • Vets
  • Zoos and visitor farms
  • Any other tourist, heritage or cultural site
  • Community or youth centres
  • Social or members clubs
  • Funeral homes and burial ground chapels
  • Public areas in hotels and hostels
  • Concert and exhibition halls
  • Conference centres
  • Any other public hall’
  • Transport hubs, stations and terminals
  • Bingo halls
  • Libraries
  • Casinos
  • Auction houses
  • Storage and distribution facilities

Shop and pub staff now need to wear a mask as well – even if they’re doing their work
Shop and pub staff now need to wear a mask as well (Image: AFP via Getty Images)
The government has removed exemptions that previously allowed shop and pub staff not to wear a mask.
Employees or ‘persons providing services’ in the following venues now all have to wear masks too:

  • Pubs
  • Shops, apart from premises providing legal and financial services
  • Enclosed shopping centres
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Banks and building societies
  • Post offices.
  • Community centres, youth centres, members clubs and social clubs.
  • Public areas in hotels and hostels.
  • Concert halls, exhibition halls, conference centres or other public halls.
  • Cinemas.
  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos and visitor farms and other indoor parts of tourist, heritage or cultural sites.
  • Bingo halls.
  • Libraries
  • Casinos
  • Theatres

People who are exempt from wearing a mask

  • Children under 11 (Public Health England does not recommended 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
  • 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
  • Police officers and other emergency workers, given that this may interfere with their ability to serve the public

Times you are allowed to remove your mask

  • If asked to do so in a bank, building society, or post office for identification
  • If asked to do so by shop staff or relevant employees for identification, for assessing health recommendations (for example by a pharmacist), or for age identification purposes including when buying age restricted products such as alcohol
  • If required in order to receive treatment or services, for example when getting a facial
  • In order to take medication
  • If you are delivering a sermon or prayer in a place or worship
  • If you are the persons getting married in a relevant place
  • If you are aged 11 to 18 attending a faith school and having lessons in a place of worship as part of your core curriculum
  • If you are undertaking exercise or an activity and it would negatively impact your ability to do so
  • If you are an elite sports person, professional dancer or referee acting in the course of your employment
  • When seated to eat or drink in a hospitality premise such as a pub, bar, restaurant or cafe. You must put a face covering back on once you finish eating or drinking
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