However, the PM has stopped short of making the guidance mandatory.
We’re all adjusting to life in a very different world at the moment, as the UK tries to steer a newer, healthier course in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Though July 4 saw the much-anticipated reopening of pubs, restaurants, hotels, and more, and the likes of indoor gyms, swimming pools, and outdoor gigs are set to return later this month, life still looks very different to the way it did in February. Face masks and coverings are a common sight around town, but they could be even more prevalent if new advice from the UK government becomes official policy, after Boris Johnson declared that people “should be wearing” face coverings when inside shops.
Face coverings are already mandatory on public transport in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland (Wales is following suit later this month). As masks have proved effective at helping reduce the rate of transmission, by reducing the chances of someone with the virus spreading it to others, expanding the rule to further enclosed public places like shops seems to be the next logical step.
Though Johnson’s stance was one in favour of masks in shops, the wearing of face coverings in shops isn’t an official policy in the UK at this time, aside from Scotland, where First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made them mandatory. The Prime Minister did note, however, that the government would decide in the coming days whether to enforce the policy – a stance which prompted opposition politicians from Labour to ask for “urgent clarity” on the matter. We’ll keep you updated with more information when the situation becomes clearer, but for the moment, wearing face coverings in public is, at the very least, a highly advisable move!