Skip to main content

Copies of the evidence informing the decisions on the wearing of face coverings.

Read details on this page

First published:
15 March 2022
Last updated:


11 March 2022


ATISN 16071 – Face Coverings

Thank you for your request to the Welsh Government for information under the Freedom of Information Act (2000) received on 11 February 2022. I have interpreted your request as follows:

Further to the announcement made on 11 February 2022 regarding the change to COVID restrictions, facemasks are not going to be needed from the 28 February in some venues while at the same time remaining the same for shops and other venues.

  • On what science was this decision based?
  • What evidence was used to support the fact COVID transmission can be prevented in a retail store with the use of face coverings but for example someone attending a cinema will not be at any risk?

Our response

The Welsh Government reviews the measures it has introduced to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 (including face coverings) as part of its 21 day reviews. The scientific evidence provided to Cabinet to consider at its review can be found at the following link:

Advice from the Technical Advisory Cell and Chief Scientific Advisor for Health: 21 day review 24 February 2022

The attached paper was one of many factors considered during the decision making around the COVID measures in Wales. They are one of a suite of measures that we used to try and support the opening up of society in a measured and responsible fashion, whilst reducing the risk of disease transmission in high risk settings.

This decision was reached in conjunction with discussions with the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer.

Further evidence about the effectiveness of face coverings and the risks and benefits has also been published by the Technical Advisory Group and can be accessed using the links below:

Technical Advisory Group: updated advice on face coverings

Application of physical distancing and fabric face coverings in mitigating the B117 variant SARS-CoV-2 virus in public, workplace and community settings

Next steps

If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at:

Information Rights Unit
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
CF10 3NQ 
or Email:

Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.

Yours sincerely