Mandatory Face Masks for England

Face masks are set to become mandatory in shops and supermarkets across England, with anyone failing to comply liable to face a fine.

Since the announcement that face masks would become mandatory in England, there has been significant criticism levelled at the government over a lack of clarity on what spaces they will or will not be compulsory in.

“If you’re going into a takeaway and you are eating in then that is like hospitality – you are eating, it’s not practical to wear a face mask, we recognise that. But if you are going in to buy a product and leaving again, then you are treating it like a shop and you should be wearing a mask,” explained Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis, speaking to BBC Breakfast.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, said Lewis’ comments contradicted what the industry had previously been told by the government.

“It’s really unhelpful to have that confusion because the single biggest thing we need now is to rebuild consumer confidence and that needs clear, unambiguous messaging,” Nicholls told BBC Breakfast.

Questions also remain as to how staff in cafes and restaurants offering both eat-in and takeaway will be expected to police these new rules. With Spain suffering a recent second wave of COVID-19 it is increasingly important that the UK government make clear decisions soon and stick to them.