FACE masks are increasingly becoming a distant memory of the Covid crisis.
But they won’t go away, as personal choice means many people will continue to use them as a precaution.
In some places, the wearing of face masks is still encouraged or will remain mandatory, even if it is not mandated by law.
The requirement to wear a face mask in public spaces in England was lifted on 27 January.
Now the nation is moving towards “life with Covid” and the rest of the self-isolation rules have been lifted.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people have a personal responsibility to protect themselves and others from the virus.
Places where it is recommended to mask:
Doctor’s offices and hospitals
NHS England said patients will still be required to wear masks in clinics and hospitals.
The letter, released Feb. 23, said there would be “immediate changes” to infection prevention and control requirements despite rules being lifted across the country.
“This includes requiring staff, patients and visitors to wear a face mask/covering in health care facilities,” it said in a statement.
The government says: “You must wear a mask when entering these health facilities and must wear it until you leave it unless you are exempt from it or you have a good reason to take it off.”
The government says nursing homes are medical facilities that require the wearing of face masks.
It says, “They should also be worn by anyone visiting nursing homes.”
The legal requirement to wear a face covering no longer applies.
However, the government recommends that you continue to wear a mask in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
This could be, for example, a busy retail store, an airport, or a place of worship.
Whether you choose to do so is your personal choice.
You no longer need to wear a mask when you go grocery shopping.
But many large retailers have urged employees and shoppers to wear a mask if they can, as legal requirements have been lifted.
This includes Tesco, Sainsburys, Lidl, Waitrose and John Lewis.
The stores say that the choice is up to everyone.
As of 24 February, face masks are no longer mandatory on the London Underground, trains or buses.
However, customers and staff will be “strongly encouraged” to continue to do so if they are able.
The transport authority added that it had “taken into account a variety of factors, including the government’s shift in approach to living with the virus and the decline in London’s infection rate.”
It is worth looking into the manual for the railroad company or whatever you use where you live.
For example, Southern Rail says, “Please be kind to each other and wear a mask if you can while traveling.”