Publication - Advice and guidance
Coronavirus (COVID-19): face coverings and masks
Rules and guidance on wearing face coverings and masks, including exemptions.
Wearing a face covering or mask helps keep you and others safe from COVID-19. You can still catch and pass on the virus even if you have been vaccinated, so wearing a face covering helps to reduce the spread.
Places you need to wear a face covering include:
- bars, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs
- churches and other places of worship
- public transport, including stations and bus stops
- at work (including tradespeople working in people’s homes)
You are also advised to wear a face covering outdoors in crowded places, and especially in places where people gather. For example, outdoor markets and large events. You may want to wear a face covering in the street if it is very busy.
There are exemptions to this rule for some people and situations. If exempt, you may choose not to wear a face covering. This would be the case if, for example:
- you’re under 12 years old
- you’ve got an illness or disability which means you cannot wear one
- wearing one would cause you severe distress
There are also some situations when you can temporarily remove your face covering, for example when exercising or when sitting at a table in a restaurant, cafe or bar or when you are eating or drinking. Go to the exemptions section for more information.
Wearing a face covering is just one of the things that you can do to keep yourself and others safe. You should take other precautions, such as:
- make sure you remain fully vaccinated
- clean hands and surfaces regularly
- meet outside if you can, and open windows when indoors
- avoid crowded places and keep your distance from other people where possible
- if you have symptoms get a test and stay at home
- NHS Inform contains the latest guidance on self-isolation for positive cases, close contacts, both household contacts and non-household contacts
- take regular tests even if you don’t have symptoms to reduce the risk of spreading the virus
- use the Protect Scotland and Check-in Scotland apps