Matt Hancock will announce on Tuesday that face coverings will become mandatory mandatory in English shops from 24 July, with shoppers risking a £100 fine if they fail to comply.
The prime minister – who was first pictured wearing a mask only days ago – said: “The scientific evaluation of face coverings and their importance on stopping aerosol droplets, that’s been growing, so I do think that in shops it is very important to wear a face covering if you’re going to be in a confined space and you want to protect other people and receive protection in turn.”
His comments came as three people escaped quarantine at a Herefordshire farm – where 200 staff members had been ordered to isolate after 74 infections were identified. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation warned that the coronavirus pandemic had the potential to get “worse and worse and worse” if countries do not follow basic healthcare guidance.
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