Wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England is to become mandatory from 24 July, the government will announce.
Fines of up to £100 will be enforced by police officers for those whole fail to comply, under the regulations which will be set out by ministers on Tuesday. This fine will be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.
The public have only been advised to wear coverings in enclosed public spaces since mid-May. It has been compulsory on public transport since 15 June.
The news comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently urged the public to wear homemade face masks while shopping as “extra insurance” as opposed to a mandatory measure – which confused many.
Shop workers will be encouraged to ask customers to comply with the regulation, however they will not be expected to enforce the rules. Unions have said the new guidance must be “clear and detailed” to protect staff and customers.
The change will bring England in line with Scotland, and European countries such as Germany and Spain, where simple cloth face coverings are mandatory in public spaces.
Young children or those with certain disabilities will be exempt from the new regulations.
This is a breaking news story. More to follow.