UK Government makes face coverings mandatory in shops in England from July 24th

Following Prime Minister, Boris Johnson's announcement on July 13th, he stated people in England "should be wearing face masks in shops” to help prevent the spread of infection. Johnson said that current guidelines will be reviewed and clarified to help protect the public and businesses from coronavirus. 

Mr. Johnson added: "Throughout this crisis people have shown amazing sensitivity towards other people and understanding of the needs to get the virus down by doing things cooperatively.

"Wearing masks is one of them... It's a mutual thing; people do see the value of it. We'll be looking in the next few days about exactly how - with what tools of enforcement - we think we want to make progress." 

Since Scotland announced face masks were mandatory in shops from July 10th, MPs have been discussing whether to introduce the same law across England. 

On July 14th, Mr. Johnson announced face masks and coverings in shops and supermarkets will become mandatory from Friday 24th July. He said the reason for allowing a number of days before the rule takes effect is to give people time to prepare. The new laws within shops will be enforced by police if the rule is ignored then a £100 penalty will be imposed (exemptions apply)

Mr. Johnson visited the London ambulance service recently and he said: “The scientific evidence of face coverings, and the importance of stopping aerosol droplets; that’s been growing. So I do think that in shops it is very important to wear a face covering.”

The World Health Organization says masks or face coverings should be worn in public where social distancing is not possible to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Wearing a mask is a comprehensive part of prevention and control measures that can limit the spread of coronavirus. They can be effective both in the objective to protect healthy and vulnerable people or for controlling the source and spread of viruses from people that may have symptoms. 

Face coverings have now become part of everyday life and are now mandatory on all public transport and soon to be mandatory in shops in England. We should, therefore, get into the habit of taking face masks or coverings out with us when leaving the house to avoid penalties and most importantly, to protect others. 

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