Wearing a face covering will become mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England from 24 July, as we continue to control the virus and save lives.
- Our approach to coronavirus has always been guided by the science, and there is growing evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps to stop the spread of the virus.
- From 24 July, people will be required by law to wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets and the police will be able to issue fines of up to £100 if people do not comply.
- As we continue to control the virus, it is imperative on all of us to continue taking these small steps that can help us restore our way of life, while restarting the economy, projecting jobs and saving lives.
However, I have been contacted by a number of constituents who have explained how difficult face coverings and masks can make life for adults and children who are deaf or hard of hearing and who reply on lip reading to understand conversations. I am glad that a coalition of charities, including the National Deaf Children's Society, Action on Hearing Loss and the Royal Association of Deaf People have joined forces to issue guidance on how to speak with a face mask.
These tips are:
1. Write phrases down
2. Use a text to speak app
3. Conduct conversations over video call, where there is no need to wear a mask
4. Try to use a clear face mask or visor
5. Find a quiet place to talk