What are the rules and guidance for face masks and coverings from 19 July?

Face coverings are no longer legally required in England.
But that’s not the end of masks. Other parts of the UK have different rules and some shops and transport will still require them.

What is the law on masks?

  • In England, the legal requirement to wear a face covering has ended. But government guidance says it “expects and recommends” the continued wearing of masks in crowded areas such as public transport.

Face coverings must still be worn in other parts of the UK:

  • In Scotland, masks must still be worn in shops and on public transport – as well as pubs and restaurants when not seated. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said such rules will remain in place “in all likelihood” for some time
  • In Wales, masks are still legally required in all public indoor areas, apart from when seated to eat or drink. If there is a move to alert level zero on 7 August, masks will still be required in most public places and on public transport
  • In Northern Ireland from 26 July (if approved) face coverings will no longer be compulsory in places of worship, or for students in school classrooms. They must still be worn on public transport and in shops and hospitality venues.

Why are rules different for some transport and shops?

Businesses and travel operators can set their own rules for customers and passengers.
For example, Transport for London requires face covering for travel on its services, like the Underground and buses.

In some areas there could be different rules depending on which transport you are using.

For example, in Greater Manchester, mayor Andy Burnham requires face coverings on trams. He also wants them to be worn on other city transport like buses, but these are privately run.

Other operators have announced plans:

  • Train operator Greater Anglia says passengers should wear face coverings during busy times
  • Brittany Ferries continue to require face coverings
  • British Airways, EasyJet, Virgin and Ryanair, say masks are required

Read the full BBC article here.