Do you need to wear face masks in pubs? New rules on face coverings in England

24 July 2020, 14:49 | Updated: 24 July 2020, 17:35

Face masks in pubs are not mandatory in England
Face masks in pubs are not mandatory in England. Picture: PA
Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

Face masks are now mandatory in English shops, takeaways and supermarkets - here are the rules for pubs.

From Friday 24 July, people in England must wear face coverings in shops or risk a fine of up to £100.

There has been some confusion over where exactly the rule applies, but it has been confirmed that you must wear coverings in takeaways and sandwich shops, as well as shops and supermarkets.

Read more: Government release official face mask exception cards for shoppers with disabilities

Face masks are now mandatory in shops in England
Face masks are now mandatory in shops in England. Picture: PA

Speaking about the confusion, after many people weren't sure if places like Pret were included, Health Secretary Matt Hancock recently told Sky News: “You do need to wear a face mask in Pret because Pret is a shop.

"If there’s table service, it is not necessary to have a mask.

"But in any shop, you do need a mask. So, if you’re going up to the counter in Pret to buy takeaway that is a shop … but if you go to your local pub you can’t go to the bar."

Read more: This Morning's Dr Ranj Singh issues children's face mask warning as new rules come into force

Shoppers in England must wear face masks from Friday 24 July
Shoppers in England must wear face masks from Friday 24 July. Picture: PA

Do you need to wear a face mask in pubs and restaurants?

Currently, the face mask rules only applies to the above - shops, supermarkets, takeaways - and not pubs and restaurants.

The gov.uk guidance states: "Face coverings are required to be worn in any shops, including food shops and supermarkets, but are not required in hospitality settings, including restaurants with table service, bars, and pubs.

"They are also not required in entertainment venues (such as cinemas or casinos), visitor attractions (such as heritage sites or museums), exercise and sports venues (such as gyms)."

Read the full government guidance on face coverings here.

Pubs in England reopened their doors on 4 July
Pubs in England reopened their doors on 4 July. Picture: PA

Boris Johnson's official spokesperson explained that takeaways come under different rules from places like restaurants, saying: "If you’re going in to buy a takeaway, and leaving again, you’re treating it like a shop - and you should be wearing a face mask."

He reiterated that people sitting down to eat in takeaways 'obviously... wouldn’t be wearing a face mask because you’re eating".

The official face mask guidance does add, however: "You are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet."

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