Do I need to wear a face covering?

You must wear a face covering at all times on public transport or when attending a hospital as a visitor or outpatient. Hospitals will be able to provide a face covering in emergencies. If you can, you should also wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas. You should be prepared to remove your face covering if asked to do so by police officers and staff for the purposes of identification.

Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you. However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.

Face coverings do not replace social distancing. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, and/or high temperature, and/or loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste – anosmia), you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19.

A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment. These should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings, like those exposed to dust hazards.

Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly.

It is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off.

You can make face-coverings at home. The key thing is it should cover the mouth and nose. 

How will NHS Test and Trace contact you?

You’ll be contacted by email, text or phone. 
Text messages will come from the NHS. Calls will come from 0300 0135000. 
Children under 18 will be contacted by phone wherever possible and asked for their parent or guardian’s permission to continue the call. 
You’ll be asked to sign in to the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website at
If you cannot use the contact tracing website, they will call you.
The NHS Test and Trace service will not:

  • ask for bank details or payments
  • ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

News on concessionary bus passes

Dorset Council and bus operators had suspended the normal conditions for holders of an older persons’ or disabled persons’ bus pass in March, so that people were able to get to supermarkets that were opening early for the elderly and those ‘at risk’ of catching the coronavirus.

On Monday (15 June), the terms and conditions for these bus passes will be reinstated to those that were in place before lockdown. This is to coincide with more businesses and shops reopening and the resulting increase in people using public transport before 9.30am. People who are vulnerable to catching coronavirus due to age or underlying conditions will want to avoid these busy times.

From Monday (15 June) you must wear a face covering on public transport.