Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Coronavirus - check if you need to wear a mask or face covering

This advice applies to England

You usually have to wear a mask or covering for your mouth and nose in most indoor public places, including:

  • shops and indoor shopping centres
  • public transport, taxis and aeroplanes
  • banks, building societies and post offices
  • religious building
  • museum and galleries
  • entertainment venues - like cinemas or bowling alleys

You don’t have to wear a face mask or covering in pubs, restaurants or gyms. You can check the full list of places you have to wear a face covering on GOV.UK.

It’s worth taking a mask or face covering with you when you go out in case you need it. Look for signs that say where you have to wear it.

You don't have to wear a mask or face covering if you're exempt - for example, you're exempt if:

  • you’re under 11 years old
  • wearing one makes you extremely anxious
  • you’ve got an illness or disability which means you can’t wear one
  • eating, drinking or taking medicine

If you’re planning to be indoors somewhere, contact the place or look at their website to check if you’ll need to wear a mask or face covering.

If you’re disabled and can’t wear a mask or face covering in a shop, you should ask them to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for you. You can find out what reasonable adjustments shops should make.

You can check who doesn’t have to wear a face mask on GOV.UK.

Check what happens if you don’t wear a mask or face covering

If you don’t wear a face mask or covering when you have to, the police can fine you £200. They can fine you up to £6,400 if you keep breaking the rules.

If you're going to a court or tribunal, you won't be allowed in the building if you don't wear a face mask - unless you're exempt. 

You might be asked to leave places like restaurants or hospitals if you don’t wear a mask or face covering when you are asked to.

Wearing a mask or face covering at work

You have to wear a mask or face covering at work if you work somewhere the public have to wear a mask - for example, a shop or a cinema.

If your employer tells you to wear a mask or face covering at work, you normally have to.

Tell your employer if you can’t wear a mask or face covering, for example if:

  • wearing one makes you extremely anxious
  • you’ve got an illness or disability which means you can’t wear one

If you’re disabled and you can’t wear a mask or face covering, you should ask your employer to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for you.

You can find out what reasonable adjustments employers should make.

If you’re worried about people not wearing masks or face coverings at work

Talk to your employer. They have to make sure you’re safe at work. This might include making employees and members of the public wear masks or face coverings.

It depends on the situation where you work, for example:

  • how close you are to other people
  • how good the ventilation is

Your employer could get fined if they stop you wearing a mask or face covering where the public have to wear them - for example, if you work in a shop.

Tell your employer if you have a health condition that makes you vulnerable to coronavirus. It might be a reasonable adjustment for them to make people wear masks or face coverings.

You can find out what reasonable adjustments employers should make.

Did this advice help?
Why wasn't this advice helpful?

Please tell us more about why our advice didn't help.

Did this advice help?

Thank you, your feedback has been submitted.