A government U-turn on the introduction of mandatory face coverings in shops in England has been welcomed after several days of confusion. They will become compulsory in all shops and supermarkets from July 24, with flouters at risk of being hit with fines of £100. Boris Johnson warned last week that the rule was going to be put in place, but then Michael Gove dismissed the claim over the weekend before Number 10 confirmed last night the rule would be implemented from a week on Friday.
The British Retail Consortium welcomed the ‘clarity’ on the use of face coverings in shops in England after days of ‘mixed messages’.
Anyone inside a shop without a covering over their nose and mouth risks being hit with a £100 fine – reduced to £50 if it is paid within 14 days. A Downing Street spokesman said on Monday: ‘There is growing evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from coronavirus.
The Prime Minister has been clear that people should be wearing face coverings in shops and we will make this mandatory from July 24.’ It will be up to police to dish out penalties and not business owners or shop workers, although they are being asked to encourage customers to comply. The regulations will be made under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.