As government guidelines around preventing the spread of Covid-19 continue to evolve and we begin to enjoy increased freedom following the coronavirus lockdown, new advise and requirements emerge. Read on to discover current advise around wearing face coverings in NewcastleGateshead and how to feel safe when you are outside your home. 

Do I have to wear a face mask when using public transport in Newcastle or Gateshead?

Government guidelines state that from 15 June, it is a legal requirement to wear a face mask or sufficient covering like a scarf, if you are using public transport in England. A face covering is a covering of any type which covers your nose and mouth. Wearing a face mask or covering will be a condition of travel. Not wearing one could lead to a fine and you can be refused travel. This applies to everyone using buses, trains, Tyne and Wear Metro and ferries. 

Exemptions will be made for very young children, the disabled and those with breathing difficulties.

Do I have to wear a face mask when using Newcastle Airport?

All passengers must wear a face mask within the terminal building. If a passenger does not have a face mask there will be masks available in the terminal on arrival at Newcastle Airport.

Do I need to wear a face mask in Newcastle city centre?

Although not compulsory, it is strongly advised that people should wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is less possible, for example, in shops or other indoor venues. For full guidelines on how to stay safe outside your home, including wearing face coverings, have a look at the government website here which is regularly updated.

It is still advised that you maintain social distancing and regularly wash your hands as well as wearing your face masks. It is also important to wash or sanitise your hands before and after touching your face covering.

How do I make a face mask?

The new guidance for the general public refers to face coverings - not surgical masks - which can easily be made at home. There are some helpful tips on how to make your own face mask on the BBC News website and the government have also issued suggestions on how to make face coverings from old t-shirts too. It is also advised that face masks are washed daily to prevent further infection. 

Where can I buy face masks in Newcastle? 

If you don't fancy making your own face covering then you can buy fabric face masks* from Kota - a small, local business in Newcastle city centre who are currently selling their rather stylish face masks from their online store here

If you want to make a fashion statement - designer, independent shop JulesB are selling high quality, reusable face masks online for men, women and children; 30% of profits will be donated to NHS charities. 

*Please note that these are not medical grade mask.

Please check back for further information as part of the planned re-opening of non-essential businesses.