The Government has confirmed who will be exempt from wearing face masks in shops from July 24, when a rule making them mandatory comes into force across England.

Shop workers do not have to wear face masks, despite the Government saying employers should recommend their use, particularly where other safety measures are not used such as visors.

According to the government guidelines, shoppers do not need to wear a face covering for the following legitimate reasons:

  • If a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering.
  • If putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress.
  • If you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.
  • Not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability.
  • To avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others.
  • To avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you.
  • To eat or drink, but only if you need to.
  • To take medication.
  • Young children under the age of 11.

If asked for age identification or if you are speaking to someone who relies on lip reading for communication, you can also be permitted to remove a face covering.