The Health Secretary today confirmed that face coverings will be mandatory for shoppers in England from Friday 24th July.

Speaking to the House of Commons today, Matt Hancock explained that those failing to comply could face a fine of up to £100. He also suggested evidence that face coverings increase people's confidence to shop.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, comments: “Retailers have made the safety of staff and customers their top priority and we support measures aimed at protecting the health of the public.

“While retailers will play their part in communicating the new rules on face coverings, they must not be the ones enforcing these rules. With hundreds of incidents of violence and abuse directed at retail staff every day, we welcome the announcement that enforcement will be left to the authorities, rather than potentially putting hardworking retail colleagues in harm’s way.

“Retailers have already spent hundreds of millions installing perspex screens, implementing social distancing measures and providing additional cleaning in stores – we hope this announcement will make shoppers feel even more confident about returning to the high street.”

The rule will not apply to retail staff.