Managing the impact of COVID-19

Covid-19 Update

We are open as normal from 9am to 5pm. However, some employees will be working from home while restrictions are in place so please contact us for an appointment if you want to meet face to face. Social distancing and face covering rules apply, see below.  

When to wear a face covering

There are some places where you must wear a face covering by law, unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse (see the ‘When you do not need to wear a face covering’ section below). In England, you must wear a face covering in the following indoor settings (example given in brackets):

  • post offices, banks, building societies, high street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses

Staff within these settings, and those working in premises providing legal or financial services are required to wear face coverings when they are in a part that is open to the public and when they are likely to come into close contact with members of the public, such as on a shop floor. Staff may also wear face coverings when working in settings where face coverings are not required, and businesses are encouraged to support them in doing so.

You are required to wear a face covering on entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse for removing it. Examples of what would usually be a reasonable excuse are listed in the ‘If you are not able to wear a face covering’ section below.

You should continue to wear a face covering in other indoor places, especially those that are crowded and enclosed and where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

The Department for Education (DfE) has updated its guidance on the use of face coverings for schools, early years settings, out of school settings, and further and higher education settings.

Enforcement measures for failing to comply with this law

Settings in which face coverings are required must display signage or take other measures to ensure customers are aware of the requirement to wear a face covering on their premises where there is no applicable exemption or reasonable excuse.

The police and police community support officers can enforce compliance if members of the public do not comply with this law without a reasonable excuse. Transport operators can deny access to their public transport services, or direct someone to wear a face covering or to leave a service, if not wearing one without a legitimate reason. Local authority enforcement officers can also use their enforcement powers against businesses for failing to display appropriate signage or breaching the prohibition against preventing someone from wearing a face covering.

If necessary, the police and Transport for London (TfL) officers have enforcement powers, including issuing fixed penalties of £200 for the first offence (reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days).

Repeat offenders receiving penalties for breaching the requirements to wear face coverings will have their penalty doubled for each subsequent offence.

After the first offence there will be no discount. For example, a second penalty would be £400, a third £800, up to a maximum of £6,400. Any penalties issued under the 2020 regulations that were in force until earlier this year will not count towards the accumulation of fines levied under the new regulations.

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