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Latest Government Guidance on Face Coverings

With so many bridal retailers and wedding businesses opening their doors it’s essential that we’re all up to date with the latest government guidelines.

Welcome to a new way of working – the new ‘normal’. The latest Government guidance regarding face coverings has now been announced. From 24th July, in England, it will be mandatory to wear a face covering in shops, supermarkets and public transport.

The face covering must cover your nose and mouth at all times and there will be fines of up to £100 for an individual not wearing a covering in these places. ​Shops are expected to manage their customers efficiently, as they would usually, and they can refuse entry to anyone not complying, the last resort is to call the Police who could issue the fine. ​​There are some exceptions from this for example; young children under 11, people who are living with a disability and those who have breathing difficulties.

​​Face coverings are mainly intended to protect others, not the wearer, against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of virus that causes coronavirus infection (COVID-19). They are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing. It is important to follow all the other government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) including staying safe outside your home.​ 

A face covering should: 

  • cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably 
  • fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face 
  • be secured to the head with ties or ear loops 
  • be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton 
  • ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used) 
  • unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged 

When wearing a face covering you should: 

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on ○avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
  • avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
  • change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it

When removing a face covering: 

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
  • only handle the straps, ties or clips
  • do not share with someone else to use
  • if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle
  • if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed ​

What are your thoughts on this? Will you find this difficult to enforce? Will this make you and your team more comfortable?​​

To find out more please take a look at the relevant Government websites: ​

England https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/face-coverings-to-be-mandatory-in-shops-and-supermarkets-from-24-july
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Scotland https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/

Wales https://gov.wales/face-coverings-frequently-asked-questions

Northern Ireland https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/covid-19-coronavirus/covid-19-information-public#face-coverings

​​The WIJ are interested to hear about your experiences of working with PPE and how you will handle the new face covering guidance – please email us at info@weddingindustryjournal.com. 

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