MATT Hancock has announced that face masks will be mandatory in all shops and supermarkets from July 24.
However, according to Environment Secretary George Eustice, face-covering use will not be compulsory for shop keepers, staff, and assistants. Here’s everything we know.
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Speaking in the House of Commons on July 14, Matt Hancock said that anyone who refuses to wear a face mask in shops or supermarkets can be fined £100. He also insisted that shops won’t be able to enforce the rules themselves.
Shopkeepers can “refuse entry” to people not wearing coverings, and he said that police enforcement should be a “last resort”.
He told MPs: “Should an individual without an exemption refuse to wear a face covering, a shop can refuse them entry and can call the police if people refuse to comply.
“The police have formal enforcement powers and can issue a fine.”
However, it has been reported that shop keepers will not be forced to wear masks like their customers.
The Environment Secretary George Eustice told BBC: “They’re not being covered by this but I think if you go into most shops you will see that staff for a longer time now have either been wearing face shields or face masks.
“It won’t be a compulsory requirement because it won’t always be right for every setting in a retail environment, particularly those working behind the tills and so on.”
According to Environment Secretary George Eustice, the same applies to shop staff and assistants.
It will not be “compulsory” for shop staff and assistants to wear masks because “it won’t always be right for every setting in a retail environment, particularly those working behind the tills and so on.”
On July 14, Mr Hancock told MPs that the new laws requiring face masks in shops and supermarkets are needed to protect shop workers, who have a higher death rate from coronavirus than the general population.
He said: “In recent weeks we’ve reopened retail and footfall is rising.
“We want to give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protections for those who work in shops. Both of these can be done by the use of face coverings.
“Sadly, sales assistants, cashiers and security guards have suffered disproportionately in this crisis.
“The death rate of sales and retail assistants is 75 per cent higher amongst men and 60 per cent higher amongst women than in the general population. So as we restore shopping, we must keep our shopkeepers safe.”