Face masks to become mandatory in more indoor settings from August 8

Chris Parsons
·News Editor
·2-min read
Shoppers wear face coverings to protect themselves from COVID-19 as they walk along Oxford Street in London.
Shoppers wear face coverings to protect themselves from COVID-19 as they walk along Oxford Street in London.

Wearing face masks will become mandatory in more indoor spaces from next weekend, Boris Johnson has announced.

Face coverings will be mandatory in indoor settings where people are likely to come into contact with people they do not know, such as museums, places of worship and cinemas, from August 8.

The prime minister added that the new guidelines will be enforceable by law.

Speaking as he revealed that lockdown reopenings planned for Saturday August 1 are now being postponed over fears of a coronavirus second wave, Johnson said: ‘We will also extend the requirement to wear a face covering to other indoor settings where you are likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.

‘We now recommend face coverings are worn in these settings, and this will become enforceable in law from August 8.’

The Prime Minister added: ‘Most people in this country are following the rules and doing their best to control the virus.

‘But we must keep our discipline and our focus and we cannot be complacent.

‘I have asked the Home Secretary to work with the police and others to ensure the rules which are already in place are properly enforced.’

The prime minister announced the updated mask guidance as it emerged that some Britons believe the government is trying to ‘control’ the population by forcing them to wear coverings.

Boris Johnson wears during a visit to a bicycle repair shop in Beeston, central England last week. (Getty)
Boris Johnson wears during a visit to a bicycle repair shop in Beeston, central England last week. (Getty)

The new guidance may not be well-received by English police bosses, as several forces admitted they didn’t have the resources to enforce the wearing of masks.

It was also revealed last week that just six fines were given out by police in a two week period in July for people not wearing face masks on public transport.

Barry Sheerman, Labour MP for Huddersfield, feared a second wave of the coronavirus had started and said lockdown measures needed to be tough across the board.

He said: “I called for compulsory face masks yesterday. What people cannot understand is you can meet someone in a pub but you cannot see them by popping next door.

“If this is a second wave, and it looks like it is, we should go the whole hog – compulsory face masks and shut the pubs as well.

“The truth is this Government has presided over the worst result for coronavirus deaths in the whole of Europe.

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