Masks to Be Mandatory in English Shops After Pressure on Johnson
Face coverings will be compulsory in all shops in England from July 24 as part of attempts to stop the spread of coronavirus, Health Secretary Matt Hancock will announce Tuesday.
The move, which will be enforced by fines, comes afterpressure from labor unions, business lobbyists and opposition politicians, who accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government of lacking clarity in its guidance for defeating the pandemic.
“There is growing evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from coronavirus,” Johnson’s office said in a statement. “The Prime Minister has been clear that people should be wearing face coverings in shops and we will make this mandatory from July 24.”
Johnson said Friday he wanted to be “stricter” about face coverings, but Michael Gove, one of the prime minister’s most senior ministers, said Sunday he favored trusting “people’s common sense” instead of using the law. By Monday, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told the BBC he would “perhaps” support legal enforcement.
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