Face masks and coverings made compulsory in English Shops

As the world starts to show signs of returning to normal and the coronavirus death rate begins to wane, many businesses are starting to reopen. However, with the threat of the virus still at large across the world opening back up has to be done in a safe, compliant manner. This is where the need for PPE, especially face masks, has become hugely apparent.

Just this week, it has been announced that face masks and coverings are to be worn in all shops in England. This will come into force from July 24th 2020.

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said this would “give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protections for those who work in shops”. 

Where many rules surrounding PPE have been ‘guidelines’ and open to interpretation, the UK Government is making it very clear that this is non-negotiable. For shoppers that fail to comply with the rule, they could face fines of up to £100.

Children under the age of 11 and those with certain disabilities will not be required to wear masks and will be exempt from this new rule.

Whilst many feel that this move is a little late, it brings England in line with measures being taken across Europe. With countries such as Spain, Italy and Germany all requiring shoppers to wear protective facewear.

Until now, those shopping in England have been advised to wear face masks when in indoor areas with people that are not within their bubble. However, many believe this has resulted in reckless behaviour, seeing too many people coming into contact with one another and allowing the virus to spread at places like supermarkets, petrol stations and shopping centres.

Masks have been compulsory on public transport since the middle of June and in medical environments since the beginning of the pandemic. With face masks and other PPE being something scientists have credited for the country’s ability to fight the virus and get us to the stage of recovery we are in.

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Image Source: Sky News