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East Herts Council leader calls on public to co-operate with new face covering rules for shoppers

The leader of East Herts Council has appealed to residents in the district to respect new rules to wear face coverings while shopping.

From Friday (July 24), the Government has decided, coverings will be mandatory for the public in retail outlets across England to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Cllr Linda Haysey was speaking in her capacity as chair of the community reassurance cell of the Hertfordshire Local Resilience Forum (LRF), an alliance of councils, NHS, emergency services and other agencies which is responsible for the county's co-ordinated response to incidents and emergencies.

Masks must be worn in shops (38656787)
Masks must be worn in shops (38656787)

She said: "Please help to protect yourself, your family, your community and NHS services by following the new rules and advice. Be prepared by carrying a face covering with you and using it carefully when it is needed.

"Remember that face coverings are not an alternative to social distancing, good hand-washing and good hygiene. Taken together, these are the most important and effective measures that we can all take to prevent the spread of coronavirus."

Those who fail to wear a mask face a fine of up to £100 which will be enforced by the police; this will be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days. Face coverings will not be required in pubs, cafés or restaurants and shop staff will not have to wear them at work. Others exempt from the rules include children under 11 and those with a physical or mental illness or disability if this would cause them severe distress.

Cllr Linda Haysey
Cllr Linda Haysey

Cllr Tim Hutchings, Hertfordshire County Council's executive member for public health, said: "We are asking everyone in Hertfordshire to play their part and wear face coverings whenever they are in shops.

"Home-made, fabric face coverings can help reduce the spread of the virus from people who are contagious but don't realise it because they don't have symptoms. They can be washed and reused, are easy and cheap to make and are readily available to buy in the shops or online.

"However, if you know or suspect that you have Covid-19, you and your household must not go out and about. Stay at home and arrange to get tested with either a postal test or at a drive-through test centre. If your test result shows that you have Covid-19, you and the people you live with must all stay at home and self-isolate, in line with NHS guidance."

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