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Saturday 8th August 2020

Face masks to become mandatory in shops and Brits will be fined for not wearing one

Police will slap flouters with a £100 fine

Wearing a face mask is set to become mandatory in shops in England from July 24.

Anyone who fails to comply with the new rule will be handed a £100 fine.

Environment secretary George Eustice told BBC Breakfast the move was designed to help try and stop Britain suffering a second wave of coronavirus.

Eustice said: "It is about managing the overall risk. Any type of covering will be sufficient for this purpose."

Face masks will become compulsory in shops from July 24 (Credit: Pexels)

The move brings the country into line with other major European countries including Spain, France and Germany.

However, it has been criticised by retailers and the police force, who have called the new face masks rules "impossible".

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Stores will be asked to advise customers to wear face masks while shopping.

Fines for not wearing face masks

However, staff will not be expected to enforce the law.

Instead, police will be given powers to hand out the fines.

Shoppers will be expected to wear masks or face fines (Credit: Unsplash)

But chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation Ken Marsh said it'll be "impossible to enforce".

He added: "We can't have police outside every shop."

And retailers have called for greater clarity when it comes to shop staff.

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Will they have to wear a mask when working behind plastic screens?

And just how will they deal with customers who refuse to wear face masks?

It appears clarity is needed soon if a new Mumsnet thread is anything to go by.

The shopping experience will look and feel different (Credit: Cover Images)

One woman started a thread entitled "Face masks. To feel that we have all been through enough."

She continued: "And shouldn’t have to wear face masks if we don’t want to."

"Why now?"

The woman wrote: "If face masks truly help prevent the spreading of the virus, then why on earth wasn’t it made compulsory at the beginning of this pandemic, why now? I know you’ll all likely call me selfish but I can’t do it."

She added: "I have to wear a mask for ten minutes once or twice month to collect my medication and I find it unbearable even for that small amount of time. They make my face itch and make me want to touch my face more, I can’t breathe properly and get panicky, they slide up as they’re too big for my face and hit my eye lids."

If face masks truly help prevent the spreading of the virus, then why on earth wasn’t it made compulsory at the beginning of this pandemic, why now?

Some agreed with the woman.

"I agree, I had to wear one for around an hour recently and I thought I was going to faint with air thirst," said one.

"I do agree – I loathe them. As a a result I have stopped shopping," said another.

However, many told the woman she was selfish and should get over herself.

One woman said Brits shouldn't be forced to wear masks if they don't want to (Credit: Pexels)

"Other countries have been doing it for months already. Britain is, as always in this pandemic, just a bit behind the rest. Yes it feels weird at the beginning but you just get over yourself and wear one," said one.

"Stop being so selfish"

"If you want the number of cases to fall dramatically and life to get back to normal quicker then just wear a mask. Not that hard," said another.

"Stop being so f**king selfish and get over yourself," slammed a third.

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