Follow-up from BBC Talkback interview - the wearing of face masks in public
ACC Stephen Martin said: “This afternoon, I was interviewed on BBC Radio Ulster Talkback by William Crawley in relation to parading issues over the Easter period. I was asked if it was an offence to wear a mask in a public place and I responded that it was not. This has since been the cause of some debate on social media. I hope that the following information provides some clarity:
“The wearing of face masks is not, of itself, an offence.
“Senior police can issue an authorisation requiring people to comply with a police officer’s direction to remove face coverings. If they do not comply, they commit an offence.
“Authorisations can only be issued in limited, specified circumstances and, as with the exercise of all police powers, must be proportionate in the circumstances.
“The legislation can be found here