FROM today people will need to wear a face covering in shopping centres, banks, takeaway outlets, sandwich shops and supermarkets under new regulations that have come into force in England.

The Government has brought in new laws which could see people who flout the rules get slapped with a fine, however, in Dorset this measure will be used as a last resort by police.

Here are the key details you need to know about the new guidance.

What do the new laws say?

No-one can go enter certain buildings like shops without a face covering – which covers your face and nose – unless they have a reasonable excuse.

Face coverings must be worn in:

  • Shops and shopping centres
  • Banks, building societies, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and currency exchange offices and anywhere that transmits money by cash or cheque
  • Post offices
  • Takeaway food establishments

The requirement to wear a face covering also applies if you go into a restaurant but are getting a takeaway from the establishment even if it offers table service.

Bournemouth Echo:

Valid and permitted reasons not to wear a face covering include:

  • Where a person cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of physical or mental illness, impairment or disability
  • When accompanying someone who relies on lip reading
  • To avoid or escape harm or injury to themselves or others
  • In order to eat and drink or take medication.

People exempt from the rules are:

Children under the age of 11

Employees working in the business in question or public transport staff

Police officers, other emergency workers and officials.

Premises which are exempt include:

  • Restaurants with table service and bars, including those in hotels or members’ clubs
  • Pubs
  • Libraries
  • Law firms
  • Medical and dental practices
  • Vets
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Museums and galleries
  • Aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms and other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites
  • Nightclubs
  • Bingo halls
  • Concert halls and public halls
  • Conference centres
  • Indoor fitness studios, gyms, leisure centres and indoor swimming pools
  • Water parks
  • Bowling alleys
  • Fun fairs
  • Theme parks
  • Amusement arcades
  • Indoor soft play areas
  • Indoor sports arenas
  • Casinos
  • Hotels and spas
  • Neauty salons and hairdressers
  • Tattoo and piercing parlours
  • Storage centres
  • Funeral directors
  • Photography studios
  • Auction houses.

Bournemouth Echo:

What happens if I break the rules?

You can be told to put on a face covering or leave the premises by police or transport officers.

Police officers can escort someone from a building for refusing to follow the rules and can use reasonable force if necessary.

You could be fined £100, reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days, or even prosecuted.

But in Dorset officers are being instructed to implement an engage, educate and encourage approach, with the used of fixed penalty notices there as a final option.

How long will the rules be in force?

The rules must be reviewed by the Government within six months of the law being brought into force, which is January 24 2021.

Ultimately the law expires after a year unless the Government scraps it beforehand.