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Face masks must be worn in shops from July 24, the Government will announce today

Face masks will become mandatory in shops across England, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, is due to announce today.

Enforcement, which will include a fine of up to £100 for non-compliance, will be down to police, though shop staff will be expected to encourage the policy, No 10 said.

Boris Johnson wore a mask for the first time in public last week. Talking about them yesterday he said: "They have a great deal of value in confined spaces where you're coming into contact with people you don't normally meet.

"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.

He said that face masks were an "extra insurance we can all use to stop it coming back and stop it getting out of control again."

The new legislation will not come into force until Friday 24 July, raising concerns over the risk of the virus spreading over the next ten days as lockdown is eased. 

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