The statement clears up some of the confusion over the requirement to wear face masks in restaurants and food takeaways which was created by contradictory ministerial statements.

‘It will be compulsory to wear a face covering when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops. If you are in a premises where you are able to sit down and consume food or drink that you have bought, then you can remove your face covering in order to eat and drink on-site’

Face coverings are not mandatory in other venues that have measures in place to protect staff and the public from COVID-19. These include:

  • eat-in restaurants and pubs
  • hairdressers and other treatment salons
  • gyms and leisure centres
  • cinemas, concert halls and theatres

Failure to wear a face mask where it is mandatory to do so can result in a fine- up to £100.

The statement lists exemptions from the requirement to wear a face mask -whatever the venue.

  • children under the age of 11
  • those with disabilities or the following health conditions:
    • breathing difficulties and other respiratory conditions
    • conditions affecting their dexterity, meaning they are not able to put on a face covering
    • mental health conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders
    • other non-visible disabilities such as autism
    • cognitive impairments, including dementia, who may not understand or remember the need to wear a face covering
    • visual impairments, with a restricted field of vision, particularly if any residual vision is at the lower edge of the normal field of view
    • impairments which would make it difficult to put on or take off a face covering safely, accurately, consistently or without pain

‘This list of exemptions is not exhaustive and extends to anyone with justifiable reason for not wearing one on the grounds of health or disability.

The full statement is can be accessed here-


Roe Lane Surgery are already receiving requests from patients for letters and certificates to confirm a condition / circumstance which ‘justifies’ exemption from the requirement. A statement from a GP is not required to prove exemption. A self-declaration is sufficient.

The LMC has produced a notice which can be found here. This updates a similar notice which was prepared at the time of the introduction of the requirement to wear masks on Public Transport and contains helpful links.