Fines for not wearing masks in England shops

After months of downplaying face masks, UK PM Boris Johnson backtracks on issue

England to Make Masks Mandatory

According a snap YouGov poll on 13 July, 60% of people said they wanted the government to clearly tell people to wear masks, whilst 34% believe that people should be able to decide for themselves.

He said: "The reason for that is when you are in close proximity with somebody who you have to work closely with, if you are there for a long time then a mask does not offer that protection, as opposed to a shop or public transport when you are with someone for a reasonable amount of time".

Extra precautions, including wearing a face covering, are advised when in situations where a 2m distance between others is not possible.

He told MPs that retailers should "call the police" if anyone refuses to wear a face covering from 24 July.

During a visit to the London Ambulance Service on Monday, Boris conspicuously staged a photo op wearing a mask and also offered the clearest signal that the government was looking at "tools of enforcement".

The use of masks is said to help prevent the chance of spreading the virus to others - with the masks said to block droplets containing the virus from entering the air.

The rules will begin later this month, with people not following the rules facing a potential penalty of £100.

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The move from the government comes after days of mixed messages about whether it is necessary to cover the face in public settings to protect against coronavirus.

Face masks in supermarkets must be worn from July 24.

Face masks allow you to get the oxygen you need from the air and shouldn't cause any harm.

You don't have to carry anything to prove that you don't need to wear a face mask, but if you want to have something you can show, the Keep Safe website has a variety of cards you can print or show on your smartphone.

Staff working in shops are to be asked to encourage compliance with the new regulations, but enforcement will be left to the police.

Face coverings are not the same as face masks.

Hancock said people who do not wear masks will face fines of up to £100 ($125), but children and the disabled will be exempt.

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There's limited information about how useful face shields are in preventing you from catching coronavirus.

Can I wear a face shield or visor instead?

"It's common sense to wear them on public transport, in doctor's surgeries and around fresh food on open display - would be lovely if we could just let common sense prevail". As he added, this is in line with how shops normally manage their customers "and enforcement is of course a last resort".

The WHO also advises a three-layer face covering in the community - the outer layer should be water resistant, the inner should be water absorbent and the mid layer acts as a filter.

In an interview with French television networks marking Bastille Day, France's Macron said "the best prevention" against the virus is masks, social distancing and hand washing.

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