Where do I need to wear a mask from Monday July 19?

Public Health Suffolk said it was important all ages followed social distancing and facemask guidanc

The remaining coronavirus restrictions in England will be lifted on Monday, with people no longer required by law to wear masks. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The remaining coronavirus restrictions in England will be lifted on Monday, with people no longer required by law to wear masks.
But the Government has said people will still be expected to wear face masks in certain situations while some businesses, travel operators and local politicians have said that masks will still be required to use services.

Here we take a look at where people will need to wear face coverings once restrictions ease.

What are the rules on masks in England going to be?

When the remaining restrictions in England are lifted on Monday (July 19) people will no longer be required by law to wear face coverings in certain settings.

But the latest guidance, issued on Wednesday, says the Government "expects and recommends" masks to be worn by workers and customers in crowded, enclosed spaces such as public transport.

Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk's director of public health has said wearing masks is a personal choice but that they do "play a role in reducing the spread of Covid in crowded, indoor settings". She has encouraged people to keep wearing them as a courtesy to protect others.

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health Norfolk, said people in low paid jobs were more exposed t

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health Norfolk - Credit: Archant

Does this mean that people will not need to carry masks with them anymore?

It is probably best not to throw away your mask just yet.

Health leaders, local politicians, shop bosses and transport chiefs have all said that they will continue to require or encourage people to wear face coverings.

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This means that face coverings may be required in some premises, on some bus and train services, hospitals and GP surgeries.


The Sainsbury's branch at Longwater. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Do people need masks to go to the shops then?

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's on Wednesday said it would encourage all customers to continue wearing face coverings from July 19 if they can.

Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons and Waitrose have since come out to say they will also encourage customers and staff to continue wearing masks in their supermarkets from when restrictions ease.

Staff and customers at Waitrose and John Lewis have also been recommended to continue wearing masks but the John Lewis Partnership said it will ultimately be up to individual judgment.

What about going to a hospital or GP appointment?

Staff, patients and visitors in all NHS settings must continue to wear face coverings and observe social distancing, Public Health England (PHE) has said.

PHE said infection prevention measures and visiting guidance are set to continue across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dental practices, optometrists and pharmacies, to ensure patients and staff are protected.

Staff, patients and visitors will be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting any care setting, as well as using face coverings and other personal protection equipment.

There will be bus diversions and limited services on the day of Let's Ride Norwich. Photo : Steve Ad

There will be bus diversions and limited services on the day of Let's Ride Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

How about public transport?

Face coverings will continue to be compulsory in some locally operated public transport spaces.

In Norfolk, bus passengers will be urged to continue to wear face coverings from July 19.

Jeremy Cooper, managing director of Konectbus, said: “We will maintain our existing advice to customers to wear face coverings, as Transport Focus reports that over two-thirds of public transport users consider this is the right thing to do. 

“We shall continue to support our customers and colleagues with enhanced cleaning regimes, sanitiser units on our buses and protection for our drivers”

woman wearing facemask.

Thetford Town Councillor, Mark Taylor, has come under scrutiny after handing out information cards around the town on the use of face coverings. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

What about other transport providers?

Cross-Channel train firm Eurostar and airlines such as British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair will continue to require passengers to wear face coverings from July 19, while Heathrow Airport said that face-coverings will continue to be mandatory.

But the train industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) announced that all domestic train operators, such as Avanti West Coast, TransPennine Express and Southeastern, will not require passengers to wear face coverings.

It said rail companies will ask people to follow the Government guidance and, out of respect for others, wear face coverings if an indoor setting is busy.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), which represents major bus and coach operators such as National Express and Megabus, has also said that its members will not mandate the wearing of face coverings from Monday.

Does this mean different parts of the country will have different rules on public transport?

Elected regional mayors across England have warned that without a continued national mandate there would be a "ridiculous mismatch" of rules across the country that will be "confusing" for passengers.

The Labour metro mayors for West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, North of Tyne, West of England and South Yorkshire have urged the Government to continue to make face coverings compulsory on all public transport beyond the lifting of restrictions.