Face coverings must be worn by customers in takeaways in England offering counter service, the Health Secretary has confirmed.
Questioned on ITV’s Lorraine show this morning, Matt Hancock confirmed that face coverings are mandatory in shops and supermarkets across England from 24th July onwards, adding: “A shop like Pret, that offers eat-in and takeaway, face masks are only needed if you go to the counter. If you have table service then you don’t need to have a face mask as you are not going up to the counter.”
Under the new rules, people who do not wear a face covering will face a fine of up to £100. In line with the sanction on public transport and just as with public transport, children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt.
The liability for wearing a face covering lies with the individual.
Should an individual without an exemption refuse to wear a face covering, a shop can refuse them entry and can call the police if people refuse to comply, the police have the formal enforcement powers and can issue a fine.
Not expecting this to be an issue, Hancock added: “The vast majority of people obey the law. At the peak of this we had mandatory rules in places and we issued hardly any fines because we didn’t need to.
“I expect the public to be very sensible about this as we are all on the same side in the battle against this virus.”
Staff are not expected to wear face coverings.
Full guidance on where and how to wear face coverings is available here.