Announcement on mandatory face masks due in coming days

Monday, July 13, 2020

Boris Johnson has urged the public to wear face masks in shops with an announcement due in the coming days over whether it will be made compulsory. 

The Prime Minister said the government is considering what “tools of enforcement” could be introduced, saying there was growing evidence to support the use of masks to slow the spread of coronavirus.

He said: “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.”

Downing Street has said a formal review is underway after the ministers faced calls for clarity on the subject.

It comes after Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said on Sunday it was “best to trust people’s common sense”, despite Mr Johnson earlier saying he would support “stricter” measures.

Mandatory masks in shops would bring England in line with Scotland, which introduced the measure on Friday.

Labour has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock calling for him to urgently address the issue.

Meanwhile, columnist Peter Hitchens has argued against enforced mask wearing, telling talkRADIO’s Mike Graham it was a “jump of logic”.

He said: “We really can’t say that the numbers of people dying from coronavirus at the moment are so outrageously large that we have to change the entire way that we live.”

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