Face coverings will be mandatory for visitors to all City of Wolverhampton Council-run buildings from Saturday (8 August).

Staff will also have to wear a face covering where screens or visors are not already in use in any situation where they are dealing with members of the public in person.

The measures are being put in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and to protect members of the public and staff.

It is already mandatory to wear face coverings in shops, supermarkets, takeaways, hospitals and on public transport and in transport hubs. 

The Government announced on Friday (31 July) that the requirement to wear a face covering would be extended to more indoor settings, including museums, cinemas, art galleries and places of worship. It will enforceable in law from this weekend.

Face coverings will be mandatory in council buildings as and when they reopen to the public, including the Civic Centre, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Bilston Craft Gallery and Bantock House Museum and Café, City Archives, West Park Café, Bilston Town Hall, the Mobility shop and the Registry Office. Face coverings will also be required by visitors to the council’s WV Active leisure centres, but only when they are entering and leaving the building or purchasing food and drink, not when people are exercising. 

Please note, face coverings will not be mandatory for anyone under the age of 11 and those with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as respiratory or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for them to wear one.

Used correctly – safely and comfortably covering the mouth and nose – face coverings limit the number of droplets which are spread by people when they speak, cough or sneeze. It is important to avoid touching the front of the face covering while wearing it, and to wash reusable coverings after each use as it may have collected virus particles that could then be spread to the hands.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Face coverings do not replace social distancing, good hand washing and good hygiene as the most effective measures we should all adopt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"However, there is some evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space can help protect individuals and those around them from the virus.

"As a council we want to do all we can to protect our staff and customers and so please remember to wear a face covering when you are visiting one of our buildings, unless you are not required to do so.

“We were already planning on enforcing the use of face coverings in all our buildings, and we hope that last week’s announcement that it will become law from this weekend will ensure good compliance from the people of Wolverhampton. This will also help us to Avoid a Local Lockdown.”

She added: "You can buy face coverings from many retailers or make your own at home. They can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head, as long as they cover your mouth and nose and allow you to breathe comfortably.”

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at Coronavirus (COVID-19).  

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind.