Calls for compulsory face coverings in offices, not just shops

The government has announced that wearing a face covering will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England from 24 July.

National Health and Safety company Protecting.co.uk says it’s not good enough and anyone working in a public or private setting should be made to wear a face mask.

Since 11 May, government guidance has advised the public to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces, where they may come into contact with people they wouldn’t usually meet.

Mark Hall spokesperson for Protecting.co.uk says

” Since June 15th face coverings have been mandatory on public transport and now from the 24th July they will be compulsory in shops. We have 2 issues with this, why have we waited so long and why is it not mandatory for all workers to wear them?”

“Matt Hancock is fully expected to confirm on Tuesday that government guidance will be updated to make the wearing of face coverings in shops and supermarkets compulsory. Guidance for other settings will be kept under review, why?”

Protecting.co.uk conducted a survey of 800 UK office workers asking if they were willing to wear a mask at work to protect themselves, their colleagues, members of the public, and their family’s safety.

Yes I am – 98%

Mark Taylor an office worker from Addingham

“No matter how stupid I think I look, it’s not worth the risk not to wear one. I’ve been wearing one since the start of lockdown and no one has ever said anything negative to me, my kids say I look funny, but they said that before the mask”

Mr Nichols from London

“I would be quite happy to ask people to wear a mask if they want to enter my shop, I’m staggered that people are not wearing them already”

Lizzie who works in eCommerce from Birmingham

“I’ve asked my boss to make it mandatory for everyone in the office to wear a mask, but they say they are already practicing all the correct social distancing guidelines. Why is it not law for everyone to wear a mask in the office?”

However, not everyone was as keen

Matthew from Kent

“How am I supposed to buy a mask, I don’t have one now and the shop won’t let me in without out one”

It is expected that the new regulations will be made under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, meaning those who fail to wear a face covering will face a fine of up to £100 – in line with those payable for failing to do so on public transport.

The fine will reduce to £50 if paid within 14 days. Enforcement will be carried out by the police. While shop employees should encourage compliance, retailers and businesses will not be expected to enforce the policy.

As they are on public transport, children under 11 and those with certain disabilities would be exempt. A No10 spokesperson said: “There is growing evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from coronavirus.”The Prime Minister has been clear that people should be wearing face coverings in shops and we will make this mandatory from July 24.

Protecting.co.uk have provided a free to use COVID 19 risk assessment that can be completed online or downloaded and adapted https://protecting.co.uk/covid-19-risk-assessment/

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