Changes to face coverings

From Friday 10 December, the legal requirement to wear a face mask will be extended from shops and public transport to most public indoor venues, including theatres and cinemas. There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising (hospitality and gyms for instance).

Some of the places you must wear a face covering:

To help stop the spread of the Omicrom variant, it is now the law to wear a face covering (unless exempt) in the following settings:

  • shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • auction houses
  • post offices, banks, building societies, high street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
  • estate and letting agents
  • premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (barbers, hair salons, tattoo and piercing studios, nail salons and massage centres)
  • pharmacies
  • premises providing veterinary services
  • retail galleries
  • retail travel agents
  • public facing funeral offices
  • takeaways without space for consumption of food or drink on premises
  • shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
  • community centres (including village halls), youth centres, members clubs and social clubs
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • polling stations and premises used for the counting of votes
  • places of worship
  • crematoria and burial ground chapels
  • visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, indoor theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, indoor areas at aquariums, zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, indoor sports stadiums, funfairs, indoor theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas)
  • public areas in hotels and hostels
  • indoor areas of open-air sports stadiums
  • public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams, buses, coaches and ferries), taxis and private hire vehicles
  • cars or small vans during any professionally delivered driving lesson, during any driving test, and during any practical test to qualify as an approved driving instructor
  • heavy goods vehicle (HGVs) during any driving lesson and during any driving test
  • driving theory test centres
  • transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • motorway service areas

For a full list, visit the face coverings section on GOV.UK.

Make sure you wear your face covering correctly. It needs to cover your nose and mouth at all times. Watch this short film to find out more.

This page was last updated on 13 December 2021

Rate this page