Face coverings ‘only for customer-facing roles’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Team rules: kitchen staff are not required to wear face coverings, The MA understands
Team rules: kitchen staff are not required to wear face coverings, The MA understands

Related tags: Legislation, Health and safety, Chef, Food

Only customer-facing staff are required to wear a face covering, The Morning Advertiser (The MA) understands.

This suggests back-of-house staff roles such as kitchen employees will not have to wear a form of face covering while working.

This follows the requirement for pub staff and customers to wear face coverings inside being moved to Thursday 24 September​ despite the Cabinet Office previously confirming to The MA​ it would be enforced from Monday 28 September.

The Government stated people who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, such as because of an underlying health condition, will continue to be exempt from these new obligations.

New rules

Guidance stating face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services became law from Thursday 24 September.

The MA ​​also asked the Cabinet Office about the use of plastic visors and was directed to the Government's mention of the use of clear visors under its Working safely during coronavirus ​​​guidance​​,​ stating they are permitted. However, we are still awaiting a response to clarify on this.

The new rule came into force at the same time pubs had to close their doors at 10pm each day and implement table service only.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out the areas where the face covering rule has been extended to, as part of the Government's bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

Requirement extension

In the House of Commons last week (Tuesday 22 September), Johnson said: “We must act from the virus being transmitted in bars and restaurants.

"We will extend the requirement to wear face coverings to include staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.

“In retail, leisure and tourism and other sectors, our Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach the rules.”

Johnson also mentioned that unless we “palpably make progress, we should assume the restrictions I have announced, will remain in place, for perhaps, six months."

Related topics: Health & safety

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