There will be no requirement for face masks in offices

15 July 2020

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has confirmed that there are no plans to make English employees wear face masks while they are in the office.

Speaking to the media,  Mr. Hancock said:

“It’s something we’ve looked at and rejected”,  but Mr. Hancock did confirm that masks should be worn by the public in other situations “for the foreseeable future."

The questions around face masks being mandatory in office workspaces were prompted by the fact that face coverings must be worn within shops in England from 24 July 2020 onwards.

In Scotland, it is already a requirement for shoppers to utilise face masks, and in Wales and Northern Ireland, they are considering mirroring this rule.

Speaking further on the topic, Mr. Hancock commented:

“When you’re in close proximity with somebody that you have to work closely to, if you’re there for a long time with them, then a mask doesn’t offer that protection.

The same logic applies for schools – we’re not recommending masks for schools because if you’re in a classroom with kids all day then a mask doesn’t give you protection.”


The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication. For all the latest information, news and resources on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting payroll professions, visit our Coronavirus hub.