Updated guidance on where to wear a face covering

From Saturday 8 August it will be compulsory to wear a face covering in museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship, in addition to shops, NHS settings and on public transport.

This is in addition to the requirement already in place in shops, NHS settings, public transport and transport hubs, as well as banks, post offices and when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops.

Anyone failing to comply with this could face being fined up to £100 by the police.

Shops and transport operators can refuse service or ask someone to wear a face covering. 

Reducing the spread of the disease

Face coverings help reduce the spread of Covid-19 while allowing us to go about our daily lives more safely. Compared to the consequences of catching coronavirus, wearing a face covering seems a small price to pay for safeguarding ourselves and others.

Safe use of face coverings is vital. Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting the face covering on, taking it off and after its use and storage.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them.

Clean any surfaces the face covering has also come into contact with.

You should wash the face covering after each use; it can go in your usual laundry, using your normal detergent.

Good hygiene and social distancing

It’s important that  face coverings do not replace good hand washing, good hygiene and physical distancing. They should be worn in enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where we come into contact with people we don’t normally meet.  

It is still important to keep two metres apart where possible.

If you develop any symptoms of Covid, please arrange a test immediately and you (and all members of your household whether they have symptoms or not) must self-isolate until you get the test result. Go to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.

Not everyone is able to wear a face covering

I hope everyone in Brighton & Hove who can wear a face covering will do so but there are some members of our communities who are exempt from wearing them and we should respect this and avoid making people uncomfortable.

Abuse and unkindness are not what we want to see in our city. This measure is about supporting each other to stay safe. 

Please be mindful and respectful of people’s individual circumstances and remember that some people are less able to wear face coverings.

Exemptions to wearing a face covering

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes:

  • young children under the age of 11
  • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering

There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering when asked:

  • If asked to do so by shop staff for the purpose of age identification
  • If speaking with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound. Some may ask you, either verbally or in writing, to remove a covering to help with communication

Environmental impact of single use masks

During the pandemic, the upsurge in the use of face masks, has led to an alarming rise in them being discarded on the streets, parks, and beaches, instead of being put in a bin. 

This not only poses a risk in terms of spreading the infection but contributes hugely to single use waste as well as damaging our environment and wildlife.

If you’re using single-use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks, please dispose of it responsibly. You should only put disposable PPE into a non-recyclable waste bin. 

Guidance is that you must double bag PPE waste and set aside for at least 72 hours before adding to external bins.

Public Health England (PHE) has guidance on cleaning and disposing of waste that could be infected with Covid-19.

Using reusable face coverings

I would encourage people to wear reusable face coverings where possible. They are sold widely and – even with basic sewing skills - are relatively easy and cheap to make.

Information, with step-by-step video tutorials on how to make a face covering with materials from around your home can be found on the Big Community Sew website.

Please help keep our city Covid-secure and wear a face covering if you are able to.

Alistair Hill
Director of Public Health at Brighton & Hove City Council

Find out more

Read move of the government advice on where you need to wear a face covering, how to correctly wear one, who is exempt and how to make your own.

In England, you must wear a face covering by law in the following settings:

  • public transport
  • indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • indoor shopping centres
  • banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)
  • NHS settings, including hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries

You are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave.

From Saturday 8 August this will also include:

  • funeral directors
  • premises providing professional, legal or financial services
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • bingo halls
  • concert halls
  • museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites.
  • nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers - other than where necessary to remove for treatments
  • massage parlours
  • public areas in hotels and hostels
  • place of worship
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • community centres
  • social clubs
  • tattoo and piercing parlours
  • indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities e.g. laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites etc)
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • veterinary services.
  • auction houses


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