Wales lifts face mask laws for most indoor places

Face coverings are not necessary in settings such as cinemas, theatres, community centres, museums and gyms.

28 February 2022

People in Wales are no longer legally required to wear face masks in many indoor places.

The law change on Monday means face coverings are not necessary in settings such as cinemas, theatres, community centres, museums and gyms.

But the Welsh Government said the mandate is still active in all retail settings, public transport and in health and care settings, unless a person is exempt.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the remaining protections are “proportionate to the public health situation and the risk of coronavirus”.

“Thanks to everyone’s hard work and all their sacrifices, cases of coronavirus are falling across Wales. Now is the right time to relax the general requirement to wear a face covering in many indoor public places,” he said.

“But we will keep the legal requirement in place in retail, public transport and health and social care, which are widely used and essential sectors.

“This is part of our cautious and careful response to the pandemic. We will continue to consider the latest scientific and medical evidence to inform our approach.

“Later this week I will be setting our longer term plans to manage the pandemic, as we carry out the regular three-week review of the regulations.”

Mark Drakeford
Mark Drakeford (Ben Birchall/PA)

When schools return from half-term break on Tuesday, decisions about face masks will be made by education bodies on a local basis.

Face coverings will no longer be routinely required in classrooms but they should continue to be worn in communal areas in secondary schools, Mr Drakeford said.

A review of all the remaining alert level zero regulations will next be announced on March 4.

The Welsh Government has said that if public health conditions continue to improve the outstanding face mask rules could be lifted by the end of March.

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