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Coronavirus in Leicester (ALPHA)

Get the latest information and advice

Wearing a face covering

You can do your bit to prevent the spread of coronavirus by wearing a face covering. We have outlined government advice and guidance on wearing a face covering.

A face covering is something that will cover your mouth and nose. It is normally secured via ties or loops round the ears.

It is normally made of cloth and you can use items such as bandanas, scarves, religious garment or handmade cloth covering. The important thing is that is covers the face, especially mouth and nose and fit securely

It is different to a face mask.

Wearing a face covering can prevent the spread on coronavirus.

Coronavirus is spread by coughing, speaking and sneezing therefore if you have coronavirus and do not know (if you have symptoms or have tested positive then you should be self isolating) then it prevents you spreading it to others.

They are not a replacement for social distancing or regular hand washing.


Following the government’s changed advice, staff and pupils in secondary schools in Leicester will need to wear face coverings in communal areas from 1 September.

This will apply to all pupils in year 7 and above who go to a Leicester City school (including those pupils who live outside the city).

If you have any concerns regarding your child wearing a face covering, please contact the school.

Public Health England has made available resources on how to make a simple face covering.

Wearing a face covering in certain places is now law. The police have the powers to enforce this – which means that if you do not wear a face covering when needed, then you may be liable for a fine of up to £100 (reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days).

Shops can refuse entry to you if you do not wear a mask and they may call for police support if necessary.

A face covering can be made from all sorts of material (needs to be a few layers thick) you can even use old socks. The face covering needs to cover your mouth and nose and be fitted securely.

More information on how to make a face covering can be found on GOV.UK.

Many shops and online retailers are selling face coverings and you can also make your own.

More information on how to make a face covering can be found on GOV.UK.

More information on how to make a face covering can be found on GOV.UK.

There are some exemptions to wearing a face covering.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Children under 11
  • If you are travelling with, or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip reading
  • If wearing a face covering will cause distress to the wearer
  • If you are asked to by police or other official

More information is available at GOV.UK.

We are waiting for national guidance on this but locally some transport providers and shops are providing cards that people can use to self-declare that they are exempt.

  • Make sure the face covering is clean and without damage.
  • Wash your hand before you touch the face covering
  • Pick it up using the loops or ties and place over your mouth and nose and secure carefully
  • Make sure it covers your nose and mouth
  • Put your glasses on after your face covering
  • Do not touch your mask whilst wearing it – if you need to take it off then do so using the loops or ties.
  • Wash your hands before removing your face covering
  • If you have a reusable face covering wash at least once a day
  • Do not wear a dirty or damaged face covering
  • If using a disposable face covering please dispose of carefully and responsibly
  • Do not share your face covering with others

Face coverings are not needed when exercising outside and adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Children under 11 do not have to wear one. Older children should wear one – make sure they fit well and only use ear loops to secure them. Do not use ties for children under 16.


Wearing a face covering will help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Always follow the guidance below:

  • Get tested and self isolate if you start to display the symptoms of coronavirus
  • Wash your hand frequently or use hand sanitiser.
  • Maintain social distancing wherever possible
  • Stay at home as much as possible and limit your time spent with other people

 For more information visit GOV.UK