Coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus: information and advice.


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Face Coverings

Face coverings must now be worn inside shops and enclosed public spaces to protect others from the spread of Covid-19.

Coverings need to cover the nose and mouth but can be anything from a simple fabric covering, to a scarf or bandana. Medical-grade face masks and PPE are reserved for special situations such as health and care settings.

Where to wear a face covering

People aged 11+ must now wear a face covering (unless exempt):

  • On public transport
  • In shops, banks, supermarkets and Post Offices
  • When buying items, including food and drink to take away from cafes and shops
  • Inside indoor train stations and terminals, airports, maritime ports, and indoor bus and coach stations or terminals
  • Funeral directors and service providers (funeral homes, crematoria and burial ground chapels)
  • 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
  • Places of worship
  • Libraries and public reading rooms
  • Community centres
  • Social clubs
  • Tattoo and piercing parlours
  • Visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, aquariums, indoor zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, funfairs, theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas)
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Veterinary services
  • Auction houses

Face coverings can be removed when eating or drinking on-site.

Safely wearing a face covering

People wearing face coverings should continue to:

  • Wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before putting one on or taking it off
  • Avoid taking it off and putting it back on again a lot in quick succession
  • Store it in a plastic bag in between washes or wearing
  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth while wearing one

How to make a face covering

A short video guide on how to make a facemask without the need for any sewing is now available. Other examples are available on the government's website.

This film has been made with a grant from the European Regional Development Fund.


Face coverings do not have to be worn by:

Anyone under the age of 11
Those with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering.

Exemption cards

Individuals do not need to prove they have an exemption. To ensure anyone unable to wear a face covering can feel confident to visit local shops, we have produced a range of exemption cards that can be saved or printed for use when shopping or using public transport.

The cards are not essential, but available should you wish to carry one.

Last updated 7 December 2020
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