Face Coverings To Become Mandatory in Shops from Friday 24 July

The Government has announced that face coverings are to become mandatory in supermarkets and shops from Friday 24 July, joining public transport where people have had to wear a face covering since Monday 15 June.

A ‘face covering’ does not mean a medical grade mask, it is just something which safely covers the nose and mouth from a purpose-bought covering, to a scarf.

Face coverings work by protecting others, not the wearer, against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth and prevent droplets being spread. That is why it is so important that everyone who is not exempt wear a mask while on public transport, in a shop or in a supermarket, not just those who are vulnerable.

Bedford Borough Council is encouraging people locally to start wearing face coverings in shops, supermarkets and other situations where maintaining 2 metres social distancing may be difficult ahead of Friday 24 July, if they can. There are lots of different options and, where possible, people are encouraged to use a reusable face covering rather than a disposable one, or people can make their own.

A face covering should cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably, fit comfortably and securely against the side of your face, and be secured to the head with ties or ear loops. You should avoid touching the face covering while you are wearing it.

Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before putting a face covering on, and both before and after taking it off. Single-use masks should be disposed of with your non-recyclable waste and reusable masks should be washed in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Cllr Louise Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing (pictured above) said “We know this will be an adjustment and we would encourage people to embrace this change sooner rather than later.

Remember, face coverings work best if as many people as possible are wearing them- your covering keeps someone else safe, and theirs keeps you safe. Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for other measures, so please do continue to stay 2 metres apart from others and wash your hands regularly.

Advice on face coverings, exemptions, and how to make face coverings can be found on the Government website here:- https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own