The Law on Face Coverings Changes, Again

On Friday 24th July it became law that people (shoppers, etc) must wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth – for example, a fabric covering, scarf or bandanna – in a lot more indoor places.

This is as well as washing our hands and being careful to social distance.

  1. Where Do We Have to Wear a Face Covering?

Face Coverings must now be worn in:

  1. shops,
  2. supermarkets,
  3. shopping centres,
  4. when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops, and
  5. public transport hubs e.g. indoor train stations and terminals, airports, sea and river ports, and indoor bus and coach stations or terminals.

We must also keep on wearing face coverings in hospitals and when we are travelling on public transport: trains, buses and coaches.

2. Where Don’t We Have to Wear a Face Covering?

You won’t have to wear a face covering in the following venues that have measures in place to protect staff and the public from COVID-19. These include:

  1. hairdressers and close-contact services,
  2. eat-in restaurants, cafes and pubs (but you will in cafes or take-away restaurants when you aren’t going to eating there),
  3. entertainment venues, including cinemas, concert halls and theatres,
  4. visitor attractions (such as heritage sites, art galleries or museums),
  5. gyms and leisure centres,
  6. dentists or opticians (but you do need to wear them in hospitals).

3. Who Doesn’t Have to Wear a Face Covering?

The new law doesn’t apply to children under the age of 11 or anyone who can prove their health or impairment[s] means they cannot wear a face covering. This includes people:

  1. with impairments or health conditions that make it really difficult to breathe, or other conditions seriously affecting heart or lungs,
  2. who can’t put on a face covering due to conditions affecting their ability to use their hands/arms (dexterity),
  3. with a condition or impairment that means wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress,
  4. with cognitive impairments, including learning difficulties and dementia, if they would not understand or remember the need to wear a face covering,
  5. with vision impairments that include a restricted field of vision, that means they can only see at the lower edge of the normal field of view,
  6. with any other impairments which would make it difficult to put on or take off a face covering safely, accurately, consistently or without pain,
  7. travelling with, or being a support worker or carer to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.

But, people are going to get quite confused because the new law also doesn’t apply to shop or supermarket staff. The government do strongly recommend that employers think seriously about making their staff wear face coverings but the law doesn’t say they must.

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Shaping Our Lives: Independent Living Survey

Independent Living Survey 

An organisation called Shaping Our Lives has been given some money to do research.  The research is to find out what longer term impacts Covid 19 emergency policies and lockdown have had on d/Deaf and Disabled people’s ability to make the most of their independent living.   For example, some people have said that they have lost their confidence in getting out and about and everyday living has become more difficult.  Others might feel very differently.   

The researchers want to find out about Disabled people from more than just one Disabled people’s organisation so would be very grateful if you could help them by answering a short survey. This survey is only for d/Deaf and Disabled people.

You will not be asked to give your name and all answers will be kept anonymous.  What you and other people tell them will then be used to tell people in national and local government the support d/Deaf and Disabled people need to get back to living independently, feeling safe and confident.
To complete the survey you can either:
1. Use this link to complete your answers online.

2. Send an email to: they can send a Word version of the survey for you to complete.

3. Call Becki on 07956 424511 and do the survey over the telephone or by Zoom.
The survey will take about 20 minutes.  There is no involvement payment offered for completing this survey.  If you have been interviewed for this research you do not need to complete the survey.

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New Film: Crip Camp, The film focuses on campers who turned themselves into activists for the disability rights movement and fought for accessibility legislation.

CRIP CAMP: A DISABILITY REVOLUTION | Full Feature | Netflix- Free on Youtube

On the heels of Woodstock, a group of teen campers are inspired to join the fight for disability civil rights. This spirited look at grassroots activism is executive produced by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.

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Research participation opportunity – Building resilience in the ‘forgotten heroes’: Improving informal support for women experiencing domestic abuse.

Dr Alison Gregory is a researcher at the University of Bristol who is running the ‘Building Resilience’ study which aims to develop support for friends, family members, neighbours and colleagues of women experiencing abuse from a partner or adult family member. Alison wants to speak to people who are in the position of trying to support a woman experiencing abuse (or who have been in this position in the past), in order to gather their views and opinions. Alison is interviewing people over the phone or online, and interviews take about 60 minutes. The findings from these interviews will help the development of a service, which will be piloted in a future study.

There is a small highstreet gift voucher as a ‘thank you’ for taking part. Alison is keen to include a wide range of people in this study to ensure that a variety of experiences and perspectives are captured. People currently under-represented in the research, include those aged 60+, people from ethnic minority groups, and people who have a colleague who has experienced abuse. 

If you’d like more information, there is a webpage for the study:  or you can contact Alison directly by email: 

Copyright © 2020 Bristol Women’s Voice, All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
Bristol Women’s Voice Brunswick Court, Bristol, United Kingdom Brunswick Square Bristol, BS2 8PE United Kingdom

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Face Coverings must be worn in all shops from this Friday (24 July)

 In order to help protect you and your loved ones from the spread of coronavirus, from this Friday (24 July), nearly everyone must wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets as well as on public transport and NHS buildings.  It’s the law.

By face coverings the government means coverings, such as cloth masks, scarves and bandanna.  They are asking that people do not wear medical grade PPE masks, unless they work in the NHS, a Care Home or provide intimate personal care to someone in their own home.

A few people won’t have to wear a face covering.  These are: children under 11 and some people with a physical or mental impairment or disability that includes:-   people who can’t put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability;-   if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress;-   if you need to to eat or drink or to take medication; or-   if you are shopping with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip-reading to communicate.”

To promote the changes Bristol City Council will be launching a campaign called Are You Covered? 

Council staff including the Mayor, cabinet members and the Director of public Health, will be handing out free masks to the public in Broadmead, The Galleries, Cabot Circus and the Bus Station on Friday.

Please support the campaign on social media by looking out for and using the hashtag #AreYouCovered?

And please remember to use a mask, social distance and stay safe.”

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Bristol Women’s Voice are conducting a Survey of life during lockdown

Everyone’s lockdown experiences are unique, yet with a striking sameness when quarantined.  How has Covid-19 impacted your life? We want to know your pandemic circumstance so that we can collect real-time voices and relay our individual and collective experiences to local and central government.  We work to make women’s equality in Bristol a reality.  
Contact us on

Click below to reply to the survey.

Thank you for taking the time to do this!
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You are receiving this email as a member or affliated partner organisation of Bristol Women’s Voice.

Our mailing address is:
Bristol Women’s VoiceBrunswick Court, Bristol, United KingdomBrunswick SquareBristol, BS2 8PEUnited Kingdom
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Coronavirus Update 9th July 2020

Coronavirus Update 9th July 2020

Are you starting to find the relentless number of updates and changes from government a bit mind-numbing?  We are!

We hope that you find our ‘round-up’ of developments a better way to keep up-to-date with what’s going on.  If not, please let us know what you would rather we did instead, by emailing

1. Tourist Centre opens

Bristol’s Tourist Information Centre has reopened in its new home – the Galleries in Broadmead, opposite Peacocks & Edinburgh Woollen Mills.  The centre is for visitors and locals alike, and offers everything from help with bus timetables to souvenirs and gifts. 

2. Chancellor’s new economic measures to support the UK’s economic recovery and reduce levels of unemployment in the coming months

This includes: 

  1. Cutting VAT from the current rate of 20% to 5% for the next six months, on food, accommodation and attractions.  The cut lasts from Wednesday 8 July until 12 January 2021.
  1.  A new jobs retention bonus: businesses will be paid £1,000 to retain furloughed staff.  Sunak stated that this would cost the Treasury more than £9bn if every job furloughed is protected.

3. Majority of children no longer need to shield: 

The government has announced that the majority of children currently considered extremely clinical vulnerable to coronavirus will be able to be removed from the shielded patient list [link].  

However, the child’s GP or consultant will discuss the matter with the child and their family or carer before any decision is made about whether the child needs to continue shielding, or not. 

The latest shielding guidance was updated on 7 July [link]

4. More professional sports and culture start up again

The Culture Secretary has announced agreements to allow selected sporting events and production on film and television to get underway safely [link]. 

These agreements mean that international cricket, Champions League and Europa League football, the PGA British Masters Championship and the World Snooker Championships can all take place.  Other major darts, horse racing and other sporting events are also expected to follow. 

Don’t expect to buy any tickets to watch them though – only those people essential to staging these events, including the sports stars, event officials, coaches, medics, mechanics and incoming members of the media will be able to take part – so, still no live audiences allowed!

Also, indoor gyms, nail bars and swimming pools are still closed, mass gatherings are still prohibited, and social distancing is still essential.

5. VAT on PPE supplies

PPE will stay free of VAT until the end of October [link].  The decision comes after a temporary zero-rate of VAT was applied to PPE sales for an initial three months from 1st May 2020 to 31st July 2020.

6. Other VAT changes

VAT on food, accommodation and attractions will be cut from the current rate of 20% to 5% for the next six months.  The cut lasts from Wednesday 8th July until 12th January 2021.

The government has done this help prevent some hospitality businesses (those providing cafes, restaurants, hotels and other tourism services, etc) from having to close down.

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Don’t Blame Care Homes, Boris

The Prime Minister has caused outrage by claiming that care homes didn’t follow the correct procedures.

This is not the first time a government has refused to take responsibility for its actions: it is a habit that has got even worse over the past 12yrs.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tried to reduce the amount of criticism about his comment without any apology or admission that the responsibility is 100% that of government. Why do we say this? Because:

– the government told the NHS to move everyone who didn’t absolutely have to be in hospital into a care home while they recovered from whatever had led to the going into hospital in the first place;

– it was the government that failed to start a programme of testing from the very start of the pandemic;

– it was the government that failed to provide PPE supplies to care homes, despite the known difficulties individual people and individual businesses were having in getting hold of these supplies, until after many people in care homes had died.

We must not let government get away with refusing to accept responsibility by shifting blame to others. So email or tweet your local MP, and the Prime Minister, demanding that government accepts responsibility and, at the very least, apologies tfor causing the deaths of so many Disabled and older people.

You can find contact details for your MP and government at: and email the Prime Minister at:

Don’t delay – Do it today!

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