Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): face coverings guidance

Published: 30 Oct 2020
Last updated: 20 Jul 2021 - see all updates

Explains where you need to wear a face covering and exemptions from wearing one.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): face coverings guidance
Helping others

Helping others

Some people will struggle to hear or understand people wearing a face covering because they can’t see their mouth or facial expression.

You can help by being patient and by being aware that if someone is deaf they cannot hear you and may not know you are talking to them or what you are saying so:

  • making sure you have their attention by waving and using gestures and pointing
  • trying to reduce any background noise (where possible)
  • speak slowly, asking if the person can hear you, and using signs and body language to emphasise what you are saying
  • if you are communicating with someone who needs to see your face or has difficulty understanding you can take off your own face covering where necessary. Stay at least 1 metre apart when removing your face covering and replace it immediately after you have finished speaking
  • being aware that some people may need more time at the counter, as they may need to write down their enquiries or use other communication aids

First published: 30 Oct 2020 Last updated: 20 Jul 2021 -