Where you are already using PPE, such as face masks, in your work activity to protect against non-COVID-19 risks, you should continue to do so.
Workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19 outside clinical settings or when responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
An alternative to a face mask is a face covering. A face covering can be very simple and may be worn in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible, it is not a replacement for other ways of managing risk. It just needs to cover your mouth and nose. Face coverings are not the same as the PPE used to manage risks like dust and spray in an industrial context, or by health and care workers. Supplies of PPE, including face masks, must continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace.
The English and Welsh Governments have taken different approaches as to whether face coverings should be compulsory and in what circumstances.
Requirements to wear face coverings by the public and staff in public facing areas in shops and on public transport were lifted from 27 January 2022.
Businesses will need to make their own decisions following risk assessments as to whether they will require their staff, customers or visitors to wear a face covering within the work place. Where a business is bound by obligatory face coverings or chooses to have its own requirements, they must continue to take account of any reasonable excuses for not wearing a face covering such as disability or risk of causing severe distress.
See the government guidance on when to consider wearing a face covering or face mask.
Face coverings are a legal requirement in Wales only in health and care settings.
The requirement to wear face coverings in most indoor public places was removed from 28 February 2022.
The government strongly recommend that face coverings are still worn. Full details are on the Face coverings: guidance for public | GOV.WALES page.
There may be occasions where employers require their staff to wear a face covering in a place which is not open to the public if social distancing can’t be maintained.