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Press releases

Face coverings to be mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England from 24th July - Alzheimer's Society comments

Alzheimer’s Society

2 min read Partner content

From 24 July, the Government have announced that face coverings should be mandatory in England in shops and supermarkets in addition to public transport and NHS settings.

Under the new rules, people who do not wear a face covering will face a fine of up to £100, but children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt.

Dementia is not a visible condition and face-coverings may not be suitable for some people with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Society fully supports this new legislation and urges everyone who can wear a face covering to do so but to be mindful, kind and considerate to people out without one because they could have a hidden health condition like dementia.  

Kate Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Alzheimer’s Society said:  

“We fully support the Government’s announcement to promote face coverings while shopping and on public transport in England, to minimise the spread of coronavirus. But we recognise this won’t be suitable for all people with dementia and their carers, particularly if they rely on lip reading or facial expressions for communication. Some may become distressed if they do not fully understand or forget why this is necessary - this could do more harm than good.

“Alzheimer’s Society is working with all major retailers to ensure their colleagues and customers are aware that people with certain health conditions, including dementia, can be exempt from wearing a face covering if it is difficult for them to do so. This is why we must be mindful, kind and considerate if we see someone out and about without one – and why it’s important for everyone else to follow Government guidance. We’d recommend those who cannot use a facemask to use exemption schemes like a free Alzheimer’s Society help card.”