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Health blog: Face covering changes from 8 August

A message from Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health

Dear residents,

From tomorrow (8 August), face coverings will become mandatory in more public places to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus.

This means that, in addition to shops and public transport, members of the public will be required by law to wear a face covering more frequently, with some exceptions.

I want to be clear that face coverings are not a replacement for 2 metres social distancing and regular hand washing. It is vital that you continue to practice these measures when out and about even if you are wearing a face covering.

There are some circumstances, for health, age or disability reasons, where people are not expected to wear face coverings. Face coverings are not required in restaurants with table service, bars, and pubs – and in food courts or supermarket café areas to eat and drink

The places where you will have to wear a face covering will include: 

  • premises providing professional, legal or financial services
  • cinemas, theatres, bingo and concert halls
  • museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos/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 and funeral directors
  • libraries, public reading rooms and 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

These spaces join public transport and shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, post offices, banks, building societies indoor transport hubs such as bus and coach stations – where face coverings have been mandatory for a number of weeks.

Face coverings are also needed in NHS services, including hospitals and primary or community care, such as GP surgeries.

So, whether you’re using a shop-bought face covering, homemade or a scarf - it is so important that you:

  • Wash your hands before putting your face covering on/taking it off.
  • Avoid touching your face or face covering as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands.
  • Change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it.
  • Change and wash your face covering daily. If the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste.

I’ve tried to give a brief overview of the latest update to face covering guidance – including a picture of me in my own face covering at home. But if you have further questions I would ask you to check the government website for the latest information in full, which is available via www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Thanks again for reading and please, take care.

Julie.

If you want to make your own face covering from materials around your home please visit Big Community Sew where you will find step by step tutorials and other useful tips.