Do children need to wear face masks? Rules for shops and public transport in England explained - and where to buy masks for kids

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Face coverings are now mandatory in shops, supermarkets and on public transport in England

THe UK government has made face masks mandatory in shops and on public transport in England, as part of efforts to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission.

The law came into effect on public transport on 15 June, while shops and supermarkets followed suit on 24 July, with members of the public faced with fines if they do not comply the rules.

But what does the guidance say about children?

Face coverings should not be worn by children under the age of twoFace coverings should not be worn by children under the age of two
Face coverings should not be worn by children under the age of two

Do children need to wear face masks?

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Children under the age of 11, disabled people and those who have breathing difficulties will be exempt from wearing face coverings in shops, much like they are on public transport.

All other members of the public must comply with the rules.

When should face masks be worn?

Face coverings are now required to be worn at all times on public transport in England as of 15 June, and in shops from 24 July.

Government rules also state that coverings should also be worn when attending a hospital as a visitor or outpatient.

It is also advised that people wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

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Those who do not comply with the new measures could face fines of up to £100, although this figure will be reduced to £50 if people pay within 14 days.

What sort of face covering should be worn?

The government has advised that scarves, or homemade cotton coverings, that cover the nose and mouth, and other bought masks that are not the same as those used by the health service are fine to wear.

Surgical masks should be kept for use by health professionals.

Officials have said that people can make a face covering at home, but added it is key to ensure it covers your nose and mouth.

How do I wear a face mask properly?

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Government guidance states that a cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. This can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.

Before putting it on, you should wash your hands or use hand sanitiser and do the same after removing it.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store any used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them.

Do not touch the front of the face covering, or the part of the face covering that has been in contact with your mouth and nose.

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Once removed, make sure you clean any surfaces the face covering has touched and wash the covering regularly. The covering can be washed with other laundry, using your normal detergent.

When wearing a face covering, take care to tuck away any loose ends.

Where can I buy face masks for kids?

If you are looking for a face mask for your child, there are various options available online that offer smaller sized coverings.

Thumbsie is selling masks in sizes small, medium and large, and are suitable for children aged between three and 16, with packs of two priced at £18.

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Both adult and kids sizes are available from Vistaprint, which offers a variety of colourful designs from £13 each, and every mask comes with a replacement filter system that can be rewashed.

Just Hype also boasts a range of styles for adults and children, with a variety of prints to choose from. The masks have elasticated ear loops and can be bought individually or in packs of three, with prices from £9.99.

For something more brightly coloured, Rachel Riley has a range of kids masks on offer in an arrange of cute prints, including floral, anchors, hearts, checks and sailboats, among others, for £19.

Alternatively, Amazon has a wealth of different child-friendly options to suit a range of budgets.

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