Face masks and coverings will be mandatory in cinemas, churches, museums and galleries in England from August 8, the Prime Minister has announced.
Boris Johnson said this lunchtime (Friday, July 31) that the rule will apply to indoor settings where people come into contact with others they would not usually meet.
Do you have to wear face masks in cinemas and churches?
He said: “We now recommend face coverings are worn in these settings, and this will become enforceable in law from August 8.”
The PM also warned further coronavirus restrictions could be put in place.
He continued: “At this stage, we are not changing the rules on social contact nationally. I don’t want to tell people to spend less time with their friends. But unless people follow the rules and behave safely, we may need to go further.
“Two weeks ago, I said we would hope for the best but plan for the worst. And of course we continue to hope for the best.
We now recommend face coverings are worn in these settings.
“The way to get there and to achieve that optimum outcome is if we all follow the rules. Wash our hands, cover our faces, keep our distance and get a test if we have symptoms, so that NHS Test and Trace can keep the virus under control.
“This is how we will avoid a return to full national lockdown. We’ve made huge progress together.
“I know we are going succeed and I know we are going to beat this, if each and every one of us plays our part.”
Masks and face coverings became compulsory in shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres and on public transport in England last Friday.
The Prime Minister also indicated enforcement will be stepped up.
Face masks enforcement
He said: “I have asked the Home Secretary to work with the police and others to ensure the rules which are already in place are properly enforced.
“That means local authorities acting to close down premises and cancel events which are not following Covid Secure guidance. And it means a greater police presence to ensure face coverings are being worn where this is required by law.”
PM Johnson also that other lockdown easings due to happen tomorrow will be scrapped.
Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and beauty parlours will no longer re-open on Saturday August 1.
“We should now squeeze that brake pedal in order to keep the virus under control,” he announced.
‘We’re seeing a warning light on the dashboard’
He added: “We’re now seeing a warning light on the dashboard. It is right to respond in the way that we are.”
However, while the latest coronavirus lockdown restrictions mean separate households have been banned from meeting inside across the north, the Prime Minister has not cancelled his advice for employees to ‘get back to work’ in offices.
He said: “We cannot be complacent and I won’t stand by and allow this virus to threaten to cause more pain and more heartache in our country.
“So that’s why last night the Health Secretary announced new restrictions on household contact in the north west, specifically Greater Manchester and in parts of East Lancashire and in West Yorkshire.
“These are targeted measures on social contact between households which the data tells us is driving the current increase in cases.”
‘This is ridiculous’
On social media, the extension of the face mask rules drew a mixed reaction.
Many thousands of users seemed pleased that coverings guidance covered more situations.
Others moaned that face masks were being called upon ‘too much’ during the global killer virus pandemic.
One person whinged: “This is ridiculous. People are going to end up not being able to leave their homes without wearing masks.”
Another reflected: “Boris is at it again. Continuing to tighten things up again and now saying masks will be mandatory in the places they were not going to be. But not until August 8th. So again, it can’t be THAT serious or it would be immediately!”
And a third person joked: “Boris can I ask why we have to wait for the 8th of August for masks to be mandatory? Has COVID gone on holiday?”
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