Mandatory face masks return for takeaways in England

As of 4am today, customers and staff in public facing areas in takeaways in England are required to wear face coverings as the government tries to slow down the spread of the Omicrom coronavirus variant.

The guidance, published late last night, applies to takeaways without space for consumption of food or drink on premises. It does not apply to hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants.

A face covering as defined by the guidance is something which securely covers the nose and mouth.

The liability for wearing a face covering lies with the individual.

Should an individual without an exemption refuse to wear a face covering, a shop can refuse them entry and can call the police if they refuse to comply. The police can issue a first fine of £200, with it doubling each time a subsequent offence is made up to the maximum penalty of £6,400.

As well as takeaways, masks must be worn in a host of other settings including shops and supermarkets, on public transport, post offices and banks.

Rules vary in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where masks are already required in certain settings.

For the full guidance, click here.