Skip to main content

Face Coverings

This page was last updated on 13 November at 09:30hrs.

Throughout the UK, face coverings are mandatory in specified indoor public places and on public transport.

Since the current guidance on face coverings was issued in April 2020, there has been further evidence collected on asymptomatic spread and high-risk environments.  In response, many jurisdictions have strengthened their guidance about the use of face coverings, including making use mandatory in certain settings.

In line with this, Public Health Services have updated their guidance on the use of face masks which can be found below:


COVID-19 transmission

Face covering guidance


No community transmission – sporadic imported cases only

No change from present guidance:  while there is no evidence of virus circulating in the community, use of face coverings is a personal decision


First confirmed case of community transmission that is controlled by track and trace measures

Face coverings remain optional and are a personal decision


Virus is circulating in the community (two or more community cases with no causal links identified)

Use of face coverings in enclosed crowded places and on public transport is  recommended


Sustained spread of virus in the community

Consider mandating / strongly recommending use of face coverings as above


Sustained local transmission, multiple transmission chains from unrelated cases, rapid doubling time in number of cases

Consider mandating / strongly recommending use of face coverings as above

COVID-19 contacts

Clinical questions

Phoneline available 24 hours a day. Email inbox monitored Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00

Non-clinical enquiries

Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00

Businesses with financial concerns

Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00

Critical workers

Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00


Monday to Friday 08:30-17:00