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Do I have to wear a face mask in shops?

With the government set to announce that wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets will be mandatory in England from 24 July, here’s what you need to know about the new rules:

What are the regulations?

Face coverings will need to be worn inside shops by customers from Friday 24 July, although the rule will not apply to staff. Since 15 June, passengers on public transport in England – including on buses, trains and trams – have been required by law to wear face coverings.

Though coverings – such as cloth masks, scarves and bandanas – should go over the mouth and nose, there is no specification on the type, with the government advising people not to use medical-grade masks to ensure they remain available for frontline staff.

What are the exemptions?

The exemptions for shops in England are expected to be in line with the guidance for public transport. This says that children under 11 are exempt and those with a physical or mental impairment or disability that means they cannot put on or wear a face covering.

How are the rules being enforced?

The rules are to be enforced by the police, and those who fail to wear a face covering in shops will face a fine of up to £100, reduced to £50 if they pay within 14 days.