Masks and face coverings are compulsory in communal areas in the workplace from today.
As the country continues to fight against the Coronavirus outbreak, the Scottish government has officially made the wearing of a face mask or covering mandatory in communal spaces in the workplace as of today, Monday 19th October. In a bid to control the spread and reduce droplet transmissions between members of the public, there’s a number of places in particular that we’ll need to wear a face mask or covering. But where exactly does this rule apply?
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told workers they must wear a face mask in a workplace canteen from last Friday, but can be removed once sat down and eating. This has now been extended to include other communal spaces around offices and work places – meaning staff will also need to wear a face covering in corridors and social spaces, such as meeting rooms.
The new regulations will come into force from today. Ms. Sturgeon says: “The new rules are a proportionate additional step which will help employees keep themselves and their colleagues that bit safer.”
“The responsibility for complying with these measures rests with individuals.
“I would urge employers to take steps in their workplaces to explain and promote the new regulations.”
Supermarkets and convenience stores
Whether you’re heading to Aldi to do your weekly shop or popping to Tesco for a quick meal deal, you’ll be required to wear your face mask at all times while in shops.
The Post Office
Just as you’ll be required to wear your face mask in Tesco, you’ll also need to wear it at the Post Office, too – even if you’re only in there for a minute.
Sandwich shops and takeaway food spots
Lunch spots such as Pret, Gregg’s and McDonald’s as well as regular sandwich shops, coffee shops and anywhere else you pop in for takeaway food or drink requires you to wear a face mask inside from today.
The new rule for wearing face masks in non-essential stores such as clothing shops, home shops and more also extends to shopping centres as a whole. You’ll be required to wear your face mask at all times when visiting a shopping centre – whether you’re in a shop or not.
Banks and building societies are on the government’s list of places you’ll be required to wear a face mask or covering.
On public transport and within stations and airports
The use of face masks on public transport was already mandatory before today, and also extends to bus stations, train stations and airports.
Government guidance states a face mask or covering must also legally be worn in:
- pharmacies, estate agents, beauty parlours
- corridors and communal areas in schools
- hospitality premises such as bars and pubs and cafés and restaurants except when an exemption applies.
- aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, and any other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural site
- community centres
- crematoriums and funeral directors’ premises
- libraries and public reading rooms
- museums and galleries
- places of worship
- storage and distribution facilities, including collection and drop off points
- bingo halls
- bowling alleys
- amusement arcades and other leisure facilities (such as snooker and pool halls)
- indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres
- indoor skating rink
- public toilets
Is there anywhere I won’t be required to wear a mask?
New rules were also introduced on the wearing of face coverings at weddings and civil partnerships on Friday. Couples no longer have to cover their faces during the ceremony as long as they are two metres away from everyone else.
Children and people with certain health conditions are exempt from the rules on face coverings in Scotland.
Find more information regarding Coronavirus restrictions in Scotland here.