By Rachael Grealish
People across England, from July 24, will have to wear face masks in shops, but not offices the Health Secretary has said.
While speaking to Sky News this morning, Wednesday July 25, Matt Hancock said the UK Government ‘will not be recommending’ the use of face coverings in offices.
This comes after Hancock announced shoppers in England will have to wear masks from next week in order to tackle the spread of COVID-19.
While speaking in the House of Commons Hancock said: “We want to give people more confidence to shop safely, and enhance protections for those who work in shops.”
He went on to make the announcement: “We have therefore come to the decision that face coverings should be mandatory in shops and supermarkets.”
People who do not wear a face covering will face a fine of up to £100 – in line with the sanction on public transport.
Just as with public transport, children under 11 and people with certain disabilities will be exempt from wearing the face coverings.
The announcement received a certain amount of backlash from some members of the public as ‘#NoMask’ was trending on Twitter, in the UK, yesterday.
However, if people don’t wear masks or face coverings the Health Secretary said shop owners ‘can refuse them entry and can call the police if people refuse to comply’.
Along with announcing the enforcement of wearing face coverings in shops, Hancock said the public must continue to adhere to other safety measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
He said: “Wearing a face covering does not mean that we can ignore the other measures that have been so important in slowing the spread of this virus.
“Washing your hands. Following the rules on social distancing and just as the British people have acted so selflessly throughout this pandemic, I have no doubt they will rise to this once more.”