The devolved nations have been taking different approaches on battling coronavirus, and now the respective leaders are disagreeing on when and where to face masks mandatory. When travelling between the countries for a staycation in the UK this summer, you will need to follow individual countries’ rules. So where do you have to wear a mask in the UK?
Face coverings have been mandatory on public transport since June 15 in England.
This includes buses, trains, ferries, planes and many taxi firms.
You don’t need to wear a mask in restaurants, pubs and cafes, or even when popping to the hairdressers. However, it is still advisable and respectful.
Many establishments are offering customers and visitors masks and hand sanitiser on arrival.
They aren’t mandatory on beaches, National Parks, hotels or campsites, either.
Staycation rules: It is already mandatory to wear a mask in shops in Scotland
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However, face masks will be mandatory in shops England from July 24.
Children under 11 years old and those with specific medical conditions won’t need to.
If you are caught without a mask, you will face a fine of £100.
This is reduced to £50 if you pay within two weeks.
Staycation rules: Scotland has made it a requirement to wear masks on public transport since July 10
Scotland has beaten England to it, with Nicola Sturgeon making it a requirement to wear masks in shops since July 10.
Sturgeon wants wearing face coverings to become “as normal as putting on a seat belt.”
The fine is smaller if you are caught in a shop without a mask on, with Scots and tourists in Scotland being charged £60 (£30 if you pay within 28 days).
Face coverings must all be worn on public transport- including all taxis and trams.
There are no specific rules for restaurants and hotels which are starting to reopen, except that staff must wear face coverings.
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It will be mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport and in taxis from July 27 in Wales.
First Minister Martin Drakeford said masks should be three layers thick, and they should be worn where social distancing is not possible.
The Welsh Government’s website states: “Social distancing and hygiene measures are by far the most effective ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
“Public transport providers across Wales have introduced measures to ensure a 2m distance between passengers is possible most of the time, but we realise this is not always possible to maintain.”
The Welsh Government hasn’t specified which public places require the public to wear masks.
The First Minister said: “The advice is that if places are crowded then face coverings are advisory.
“Where places are not crowded it is a matter for the individual citizen to make that decision.”
Staycation rules: There aren’t any particular rules in Wales for masks at present
Northern Ireland made face coverings a requirement of using public transport on July 10.
Under 13s and those with specific medical conditions will not have to wear one.
Like Wales, mask zones are yet to be established in Northern Ireland.
There are no rules on wearing masks in shops, or regarding the hospitality business.
There have been calls for this to be made a rule, though, and Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said she is in favour of bringing this measure in if necessary.
The issue is currently under review.