HEALTH chiefs in Warwickshire are urging residents to remember their face mask.
From Friday it will be mandatory for most people to wear a face covering in supermarkets and shops in England.
Wearing a face mask or covering lowers the risk of transmitting Covid-19 – protecting shop assistants and fellow shoppers – says the government. Health secretary Matt Hancock has said the death rate of sales and retail assistants was 75 per cent higher among men and 60 per cent higher among women than in the general population.
As with the existing rules for public transport – anyone who refuses to wear a face covering in a shop, will be refused entry and the police will have powers to issue a fine of up to £100.
Dr David Spraggett, chair at NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “As more shops and local businesses reopen and restrictions are relaxed, we must all stay alert and follow the government’s rules.
“If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 – a persistent cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell – you and everyone in your household or support bubble should self-isolate; you should book a test online or call 119. You should help the NHS and your local community by cooperating with NHS Test and Trace to contain the spread.
“Even if you don’t show any of the symptoms, you could still be carrying coronavirus, so face coverings are a good way to protect others when you are out and about.”
The following people are exempt from wearing a face mask or covering:
*Children under the age of 11
* People with an impairment that could be affected by putting on a face mask
* People travelling with another person who requires lip reading
* People with a severe disability which means they are unable to put a mask on or it causes a lot of distress.
* People may also remove your face covering for a short period if you need to take medication, eat or drink.
Dr Spraggett added: “Even though face masks and coverings will be mandatory from 24 July, those with certain disabilities and children under the age of 11 will be exempt. Whether you need to wear one or not, we urge you to continue to stay alert, wash your hands frequently and stay two metres apart from others whenever possible.”
Visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus for further information.