Prime Minister confirms announcement on face coverings in 'coming days'

Boris Johnson has urged the public to wear face coverings in shops, and said an announcement on whether their use will become mandatory in England will be made in the coming days.

Monday, 13th July 2020, 2:06 pm
Updated Monday, 13th July 2020, 2:08 pm

Mr Johnson said ministers are considering what ‘tools of enforcement’ could be employed as he described the evidence to support their use to slow the spread of coronavirus as ‘growing’.

Downing Street said on Monday, July 13 that a formal review was underway after the Government faced calls for clarity on the subject.

But Labour called on the Government to address the ‘confusion’ around the use of non-surgical masks without delay.

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A woman wearing a face-covering in Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID

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Stricter measures for shoppers in England could bring the nation into line with Scotland, where First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the use of face coverings in shops compulsory as of last week.

The PM, wearing a covering during a visit to the London Ambulance Service, said their use has ‘a great deal of value in confined spaces’ where people come into contact with those they do not normally meet.

He continued: "Yes face coverings, I think people should be wearing in shops and in terms of how we do that, whether we will be making that mandatory or not we will be looking at the guidance, we will be saying a little bit more in the next few days.

"We will be looking in the next few days about exactly how, with what tools of enforcement, we think we want to make progress.

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

And as lockdown measures ease further the Prime Minister urged the public to consider returning to workplaces in England from Monday, with the reopening of beauty salons, nail bars and tattoo parlours.

The PM added: "Where businesses have made a huge effort to make the workplace safe, I do think people should start to think about getting back to work but provided we all continue to follow the precautions."

The work-from-home guidance currently in place was under review, No 10 added.

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