I know that the Government is following scientific guidance to ensure that steps are taken to make sure that people are able to go about their business as safely as possible.
New rules about face coverings do not mean people should wear surgical masks or respirators (which need to be kept available for those who need to wear them at work). Instead, people should wear the kind of face covering that can easily be made at home. Face coverings should cover the mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. They can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head to give a snug fit. Indeed, the Government has published advice for people on how to make their own face coverings at home.
Naturally, some people will be exempt from needing to wear a face covering, for example children under the age of 11. Moreover, some people will have a legitimate excuse not to wear one. This would apply, for instance, to a person who has a disability or a physical or mental illness or impairment which means they cannot wear a face covering. The full list of exemptions and reasonable excuses can be found at the following link:
The Government is now recommending the use of face coverings in all enclosed spaces where you are likely to come into contact with people outside your household: this will include places like cinemas.
I agree that it is vital to balance the need to restrict the spread of the virus without infringing on civil liberties, while allowing the restoration of economic and social life. My colleagues in Government have made a judgement that the best way to balance these things is to enable people to go out and about, and to see and socialise with friends and family, but to require that, if they choose to do so, they take additional measures to restrict the spread of this virus by wearing face coverings in certain situations. It is vital that we do all that we can to protect a second wave of Covid-19. I know that the Government is keeping all guidelines under constant review to ensure that any restrictions in place are worthwhile measures in the fight against coronavirus, and I urge my constituents to comply with these measures.
While I understand that the science in this area has evolved during the outbreak, the body of scientific evidence that has built up shows that the risk of transmission is made lower by wearing a face covering.