Police yet to fine anyone in North Yorkshire for failing to wear face masks

Police have not fined anyone in North Yorkshire for failing to wear a face covering in shops, it’s been confirmed.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 27th August 2020, 1:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th August 2020, 1:54 pm

It became compulsory to wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces on July 24.

The Department of Health and Social Care said those who fail to do so can be fined up to £100 by the police, and repeat offenders can be made to pay up to £3,200.

North Yorkshire Police has now confirmed it has not issued any fines since the rules were introduced.

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Scarborough shoppers wearing their face masks while out and about - North Yorkshire Police have yet to issue any fines.

Ahead of the rules coming into effect, the force said it would only use enforcement as a “very last resort”.

Supt Charlotte Bloxham said: “As with the policing of the previous coronavirus regulations, we know the vast majority of people will do as the government have asked, as they know how important it is to protect themselves, their families and other people.

“Demand on our service is almost back to normal pre-coronavirus levels, so we have to prioritise where we deploy our officers.

“We will take a sensible approach to enforcement and hope people understand that we cannot attend every incident.”

This week the government announced secondary pupils in local lockdown areas of England will have to wear face coverings in school corridors from the beginning of September.

In addition, face coverings can be introduced in any secondary school if the head teacher decides to do so.

North Yorkshire County Council said it is waiting for government guidance on this before issuing any advice to schools.

As well as shops, supermarkets and shopping centres, face coverings are also compulsory in a number of indoor spaces.

These include banks, building societies, post offices, places of worship, museums, galleries, entertainment venues, libraries and public reading rooms.

Face coverings do not have to be worn where it would be ”impractical” to do so – for instance, restaurants, pubs, bars and gyms.

Some people do not have to wear a face covering.

They include children under 11, those unable to put on or wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or disability, and anyone assisting someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.