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HomePoliticsBrits face £100 face mask fine for breaking new coronavirus rule if they are not worn in shops from July 24

Brits face £100 face mask fine for breaking new coronavirus rule if they are not worn in shops from July 24

Brits face £100 face mask fine for breaking new coronavirus rule if they are not worn in shops from July 24

FACE masks must be worn in shops from July 24, the Government will announce today.

Anyone refusing will be fined up to £100 as Boris Johnson looks to prevent a second coronavirus wave as lockdown restrictions are eased.

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AFP and licensors

The Government will be making face masks compulsory in shops and supermarkets from July 24[/caption]

The new Covid-19 rule comes after ministers were criticised for contradicting each other on the need for masks.

Boris Johnson yesterday said wearing a face mask while shopping is a vital “insurance policy” to stop Covid-19 exploding again.

The PM spoke out ahead of today’s announcement that masks will be compulsory in stores from July 24.

He said: “I do think in shops it is very important to wear a face ­covering if you are going to be in a confined space.

“You want to protect other people and receive protection in turn.

“Face coverings — I think people should be wearing them in shops.”

EPA

Boris Johnson said face masks are an added ‘insurance policy’ to stop Covid re-exploding[/caption]

Getty Images – Getty

Brits who don’t wear face masks to the shops will be hit with a £100 fine[/caption]

Mr Johnson’s endorsement comes after the Government was accused of dithering on the issue and making contradictory statements.

Environment Secretary George Eustice tried to defend the delay on bringing in face masks saying the evidence on them had changed, despite many European countries making them mandatory months ago.

He told Sky News: “There are two things that have been going on – the evidence and understanding has been evolving, WHO changed its guidance back in June.

“As we loosen the lockdown and allow more venues to open. We need to consider the mix of measures we have in place and control the virus.

“All shops, all enclosed spaces, supermarkets, if people go into retail environments, staff generally already wear masks or visor shields.
Staff generally already wear masks.

“Retailers have gone to great lengths, don’t think it’s unreasonable to now ask the public to take that step.”

He said the new rules wouldn’t come into force for another 10 days to give shops and businesses time to prepare.

The PM said he changed his mind over the value of masks in stopping the spread of Covid-19 after scientific advice “shifted in favour of them”.

The PM said: “In a confined space you are protecting others from the transmission you might be giving off.

“And they in turn are protecting you. It is a mutual thing.

“As the virus comes down in incidents and we have more and more success, I think face coverings are a kind of extra insurance that we can all use to stop it coming back and stop it getting out of control again.”

Mr Johnson made the case for compulsory masks as the UK yesterday recorded 11 Covid- 19 related deaths — the lowest daily total since March 12.

The shift in Government policy will be announced today by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

It brings shops in line with public transport, where masks have been compulsory since June 15.

Shopkeepers will be urged to encourage the public to comply with the new rule.

But those caught not wearing a mask will be fined £100, cut to £50 if paid within a fortnight.

Children under 11 and those with some disabilities will not have to wear a mask.

Downing Street has faced pressure to act after scientists demanded the rules be changed.

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made face masks compulsory in shops there on Friday.

 

 

Royal Society president Dr Venki Ramakrishnan said the “evidence has shifted” and is now “quite strongly in favour of using face coverings in enclosed spaces”.

He said it was “not consistent” to demand people wear face coverings on public transport but not in shops.

Dr Ramakrishnan said: “A virus doesn’t know. The behaviour of the virus is the same in all spaces.”

Downing Street has ordered increased production capacity at factories so five million masks a week will be available to meet demand.

The Government has been accused of a mixed message on masks.

AFP and licensors

Boris Johnson elbow-bumped medics in London today [/caption]

AFP or licensors

Michael Gove said people should be trusted to use their ‘good sense’ to wear face masks[/caption]

The PM suggested last Friday that masks would be compulsory in shops only to be contradicted by Michael Gove who said on Sunday that people should be trusted to use their “good sense”.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland yesterday summed up the confusion by saying his view was that masks should be “mandatory — maybe”.

A new scientific report warns that a second wave of coronavirus this winter could be worse — killing 120,000 in hospitals.

The Academy of Medical Sciences produced the report at the request of Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

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It warns that the Government must act now to prepare for a possible “winter wave”.

The academy’s modelling suggested that in a worst-case scenario the R infection rate would rise to 1.7 in September leading to a peak in ­hospital admissions and deaths in January and February, when the NHS is usually at its busiest.

Study leader Professor Stephen Holgate said: “This is not a prediction but it is a possibility.”

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