21 July 2020| | 3 min read
New face coverings legislation from July 24
Residents in Newcastle are being called upon to comply with new legislation around face coverings.
From July 24, wearing a face covering will be compulsory in shops and supermarkets. Failure to comply could result in a £100 fine, reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.
The police will be engaging with public and explaining the requirements to wear face coverings but will only use enforcement as a last resort. Shops and businesses should encourage customers to comply with the new legislation.
Exemptions will be made for children under the age of 11, as well as people with certain disabilities and medical conditions. It is advised that all children younger than three years old should not wear face coverings at all.
Cllr Irim Ali, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Public Health, said: “Although lockdown measures are being eased, Covid-19 is still out there and spreading.
“We all have a responsibility to play our part in helping our city recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and complying with the rules around face coverings is something most of us will be able to do to help protect others.
“It may feel unusual to start with, but we should all take every step possible to minimise the possibility of further outbreaks of the virus.
“So in addition to wearing face coverings while using public transport, from July 24, make sure you have a face covering when shopping.
“Please wear it so it covers your mouth and nose and do your bit to help protect our city.”
A face covering does not have to be to a medical standard such as the surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment. The priority for face coverings worn by members of the public is that they cover both the mouth and nose, and that you continue following best hygiene practices and maintaining social distancing.
This includes continuing to wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, or using hand sanitisers if soap and water are not available.
You must also continue to wear a face covering at all times on public transport and when attending a hospital as a visitor or outpatient unless you are exempt on medical grounds.
If you develop a new or continuous cough, a fever, or experience a change to your taste or smell senses, self-isolate immediately and book a coronavirus test. To find out how to book a test, visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
Stay up to date with local developments at www.newcastle.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Further guidance on exemptions from wearing face coverings is available here.
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