Face Coverings Now Mandatory in Shops
|Published: 24th July 2020 09:32|
With effect from Friday 24 July, new coronavirus legislation requires most people over the age of 11 to wear a face covering when visitings all retail outlets, from small local shops to large supermarkets.
The legislation gives police the power to issue a £100 fine to anyone who breaches the new rules - this fine will be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.
There are some exemptions in place, including those with a disability or specific medical condition and children under the age of 11. The new law does not apply to staff working in shops and people are not required to wear masks inside pubs, bars or restaurants.
Superintendent Julie Westgate of Cheshire Constabulary said: "These changes should act as a reminder to everyone that COVID-19 has not gone away and it is essential we continue to do all we can to reduce the spread of this virus.
"Everyone needs to play their part and take personal responsibility by ensuring they follow the guidance and wear a face covering whenever required.
"While police do have the power to issue fines to anyone who breaches the legislation - this will be a last resort and we are relying on the goodwill of the people of Cheshire in sticking to the rules.
"Retailers are expected to manage entry to their stores and compliance with the law while customers are inside.
"Therefore, if you are out and about in a retail store and see somebody who you believe may be breaching the regulations, please don't call 101 straight away - we would urge you to speak to a store worker who can then attempt to resolve the issue within the store.
"In cases where the store worker is unable to resolve the issue, they themselves can contact police for support.
"In instances where police attendance is required, we will continue to use common sense and discretion to determine what is reasonable, with officers using the 4Es approach of engaging, explaining, encouraging and, only as a last resort, enforcing."
There are no specifications on the type of face covering that must be used - this can include cloth masks, scarves and bandanas. The only stipulation is that they must cover the mouth and nose.
For further details regarding the legislation click here.
If you are exempt, you can download and print off a card to show in shops, here.