Masks in shops

craig smith made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health and Social Care

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The request was refused by Department of Health and Social Care.

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

When will it be possible to walk in shops and other places and use buses with NO masks,distancing,floor markings,one way systems,shaming on tannoys or being challenged by self-righteous stasi?

Yours faithfully,

craig smith

FreedomofInformation, Department of Health and Social Care

Dear Mr Smith,

Thank you for your email.

The Freedom of Information Act only applies to recorded information such as paper or electronic archive material. As your correspondence asked for general information, rather than requesting recorded information or documentation, it did not fall under the provisions of the Act. It will be answered as general correspondence in due course.

You may find it useful to refer to the Information Commissioner’s guidance on communicating effectively and politely with public authorities at:

https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/off...

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team
Department of Health and Social Care

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Department of Health and Social Care

This is an acknowledgement - please do not reply to this email.

Thank you for contacting the Department of Health and Social Care. 

We are currently experiencing high volumes of enquiries and we are
focusing our resources on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

The answers to many questions, including the latest information on
COVID-19, can be found on [1]GOV.UK, the [2]Department of Health and
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Department of Health and Social Care

Our ref: DE-1255242

 

Dear Mr Smith,
 
Thank you for your correspondence of 13 September about face coverings. I
have been asked to reply.

The Freedom of Information Act only applies to recorded information such
as paper or electronic archive material.  As your correspondence asked for
general information, rather than requesting recorded information or
documentation, it did not fall under the provisions of the Act.

The Government has published guidance on face coverings, explaining what
the coverings are, their role in reducing the transmission of COVID-19,
the settings in which they are recommended, and how they should be safely
used and stored. This is in addition to social distancing and good hand
hygiene, as a face covering can help people protect one another in indoor
environments.

 

The guidance states that, in England, people must wear a face covering
that covers their mouth and nose in a number of public indoor settings,
including:

 

o public transport;
o shops and supermarkets;
o premises providing professional, legal or financial services;
o visitor attractions and entertainment venues; and
o community centres and social clubs.

 

The guidance, including the full list of public settings requiring face
coverings, can be found at [1]www.gov.uk by searching for ‘face
coverings’.

 

Face coverings can be a fabric covering such as a scarf or bandana, but
these must cover the nose and mouth. The Government is encouraging people
to make their own face covering at home, using readily available textiles
that can be washed and reused after every use. Guidelines on how to make
such coverings can be found at [2]www.gov.uk by searching for ‘how to wear
and make a cloth face covering’. The Government is urging people not to
purchase medical or surgical masks as these must be reserved for health
and social care workers who face the greatest risk.

 

Wearing a face covering should quickly feel more normal. People should
continue to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before putting a face
covering on and after taking it off. People should also try to avoid
touching their eyes, nose or mouth and store used face coverings in a
plastic bag until they have an opportunity to wash or dispose of them.

 

While the Government expects that the vast majority of people will comply
with these rules, as they have done throughout the pandemic, regulations
have been made under the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984 to
give powers to the police and Transport for London (TFL) officers to
enforce the requirement to wear a face covering. The police will use the
‘four Es’ approach of engaging, explaining, encouraging and enforcing,
with the latter being a last resort.

 

Some people are exempt from wearing a face covering, including children
under the age of 11 and those unable to wear them due to health, age,
equality or disability reasons. People do not need to prove they are
exempt, and they should not be challenged about this.

 

People may be asked to remove their face covering to aid communication.
Someone should do this only if they can follow social distancing guidance.
People should also be prepared to remove their face covering if asked to
do so by police officers or staff for the purposes of identification.

 

The Government understands that these are difficult times and that the
measures people are being asked to take are very disruptive to normal
life. However, it is vital those who are most vulnerable are protected,
and people are therefore being asked to act in the interests of everyone
in society.

 

The latest guidance from the Government can be found at [3]www.gov.uk.
The situation is evolving, and Government guidance and advice may change.
Consequently, you may find it helpful to seek the latest advice on
this query through the COVID-19 ‘hub’, which can be found
at [4]www.gov.uk/coronavirus and is regularly updated.

 

I hope this reply is helpful.

Yours sincerely,
 
Anthony Moses
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries
Department of Health and Social Care

 

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Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

This has in no way answered my query in any manner.
I did not request a detailed explanation of the rules or the science on face coverings.
It is largely apparent these are compliance and control measures,as the WHO changed their advice on facemasks due to political pressure not scientific evidence.The majority of scientists didnt recommend their use and it seems to be being used as a condition of entry or denial of service (comply or deny) rather than a genuine public health measure (wearing if infected or if around an infected person)
My actual question asked when it will be possible to go shopping or clubbing or use public transport without a mask.
Can you please answer this or refer me to someone who can?
Thanks

Yours faithfully,

craig smith

Department of Health and Social Care

Our ref: DE-1259987  

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your correspondence.

 

We are very sorry to read of the issue/s you have described and understand
your concerns. 

However, as the Department is currently receiving an extremely high volume
of enquiries due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are
only able to provide an individual response to the most serious and urgent
of cases. Although the Department recognises the importance of each
concern and would ordinarily respond to queries individually, the current
circumstances have required a temporary change in the method of handling
correspondence.

The Department is, however, continuing to record all the correspondence
that it receives so that it is able to track the main issues being raised
by the public.

 
The Government has launched a COVID-19 ‘hub’, which can be found
at [1]www.gov.uk/coronavirus; this has the answers to many questions and
the latest guidance on COVID-19. You may find useful information regarding
your query there. Further information can also be found on the NHS website
at [2]www.nhs.uk.

Please also note that the Department of Health and Social Care does not
process complaints about the NHS or social services. If you wish to make a
complaint about a healthcare professional, an NHS organisation or a social
care provider, please visit the [3]Complaints Procedure page on GOV.UK.

If you consider your situation to be of a particularly sensitive or urgent
nature that does requires a bespoke response, please submit your email
again using ‘Sensitive’ and quote the case reference in the subject line.
The Department will, if it is deemed appropriate, aim to send a response
to the majority of such correspondence within 18 working days.

I appreciate that this is not the response you were hoping for, but I hope
it is clear why it is necessary.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Belmore
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries
Department of Health and Social Care

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Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

The question still has not been answered,by the organisation (yourselves) that puts out such restrictions.
I asked when it will be possible to go shopping again unrestricted or masks or anything.
This means just walking into a shop as is (no mask,app,floor markings?distancing etc).
I am not interested in references to gov uk or jargon which passes the buck.
Just want a straight factual answer as to when our human rights and democracy will be restored.

Yours faithfully,

craig smith

Department of Health and Social Care

Our ref: DE-1267588  

Dear Sir/Madam,
Thank you for your correspondence.

As we are experiencing extremely high volumes of enquiries due to the
ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we regret that we are not
currently able to provide an individualised response to every email we
receive from the public.
We are however continuing to record all the correspondence that we receive
so that we are able to continue to track the main issues being raised with
the Department by the public.
I am sorry that this falls short of the service we strive to offer, but
the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in has required a temporary
change in approach to handling correspondence.
If you enquiry is in relation to COVID-19, the Government has launched a
COVID-19 ‘hub’, which can be found at [1]www.gov.uk/coronavirus and has
the answers to many questions and the latest information on COVID-19.
If you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, please visit
111.nhs.uk or telephone your GP surgery immediately for further advice. Do
not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital direct. If it is an
emergency, either call 999 or go to your nearest hospital with an A&E
department.
If you are a business interested in helping the government increase
COVID-19 testing capacity, please visit this [2]Government website. Please
note that the service to offer other COVID-19 support from your business
has closed.
If you are a clinician looking to support the NHS with the Coronavirus
response, please visit [3]this website, where you will find a variety of
required roles for both registered and unregistered individuals.
If you are a clinician who has retired within the last 6 years and would
like more information on how to apply for the temporary register, please
visit [4]this website.
If you are a student looking to join the NHS, please visit the HEE website
for detailed guidance for [5]nurses and [6]doctors respectively. 
If you want to volunteer during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,
please visit [7]this website for more information. 
The Department of Health and Social Care does not process complaints about
the NHS or social services. If you wish to make a complaint about a
healthcare professional, an NHS organisation or a social care provider,
please visit the [8]Complaints Procedure page on GOV.UK.
If you consider your situation to be of a particularly sensitive or urgent
nature that does require a bespoke response, please submit your email
again using ‘Sensitive’ and quote the case reference in the subject line.
We will, if deemed appropriate, aim to send a response to the majority of
such correspondence within 18 working days.
Yours sincerely,

Daniel Belmore
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries
Department of Health and Social Care

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