Face Masks in London: When and Where Do You Need To Wear One? – Time Out London

To mask up or not to mask up, it’s been a hotly debated subject over the last few months. But recently, the rules around wearing face coverings in England have made some sudden changes after weeks of allowing us to expose our chops in public, willy-nilly. 

First, we were required to wear face coverings on all forms of public transport. Then on Friday July 24, face coverings became compulsory in shops and supermarkets, plus banks, coffee shops and takeaway restaurants, in England.

And now, the government has announced a whole host of venues in which you’ll be required to wear a mask come Saturday August 8. Now on the list are museums, cinemas, hair salons, nail bars, tattoo parlours, libraries, massage parlours, public areas in hotels, places of worship, bingo halls, and even escape rooms. Basically, think of an indoor venue and it’s likely you’ll have to wear a mask to visit it.  

If you don’t wear one, a venue can refuse you entry and call the police – and you could face a fine of up to £100. 

As with face coverings on public transport and in shops, some people are exempt, including children under the age of 11 and people with certain disabilities. You’re also permitted to remove your mask when travelling with, providing assistance to or speaking to someone who relies on lip-reading to communicate. 

FYI, face coverings are not the same as medical-grade face masks or PPE. You just have to wear something that safely covers your nose and mouth. That can be a single-use mask, a reusable cloth mask, a scarf or a bandana, as long as it securely fits around your face. 

The most obvious exemptions to the new rules are restaurants, bars and pubs where faces can be freely exposed.

You can check out the full guidance and find out how to make your own government-approved face covering at www.gov.uk. 

Want a mask that matches your outfit? Here are nine reusable masks created by London makers – and 12 arty face masks you can buy from iconic museums around the world. 

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