Face masks in takeaways and sandwich shops will be compulsory from Friday

23 July 2020, 11:02

You will have to wear face masks while getting takeaways
You will have to wear face masks while getting takeaways. Picture: Getty Images

Under new laws, face masks will become compulsory in takeaways and sandwich shops tomorrow.

After much confusion over the new rules on Friday, it’s thought that face masks will be compulsory in takeaways.

This means customers in fast food restaurants such as McDonald's, as well as sandwich shops like Pret, would have to wear a face covering while ordering.

Eateries with table service are said to be exempt from the new rules, but buying food from a counter then sitting down will be banned.

A government source told the Daily Telegraph: "You have to sit down straight away if you are going to eat in. If you can sit at a table, you don't need to wear a mask."

Government officials are set to clarify its position today after mixed messages from ministers over the last few days.

McDonalds customers will have to wear a mask when collecting a takeaway
McDonalds customers will have to wear a mask when collecting a takeaway. Picture: PA Images

While Downing Street originally said masks would not be compulsory in takeaways, Health Secretary Matt Hancock insisted they would.

Read More: Sainsbury's, Tesco and Lidl explain why they won't challenge shoppers without a face mask

When questioned by a member of the public earlier in the week, Mr Hancock said: "You do need to wear a face mask in Pret because Pret is a shop.

"If there's table service, it is not necessary to have a mask. But in any shop, you do need a mask. So, if you're going up to the counter in Pret to buy takeaway that is a shop."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's official spokesman later said: "We will be publishing the full guidance shortly but my understanding is that it wouldn't be mandatory if you went in, for example, to a sandwich shop in order to get a takeaway to wear a face covering.”

New government guidance states that people in England must wear face masks in shops from Friday, with anyone who fails to comply being at risk of getting hit with a £100 fine.

Face masks have been compulsory in shops in Scotland since July 10.

While shoppers can also be turned away at tills if they don’t comply, many supermarkets have explained why they won't be challenging customers who are not wearing a mask.

In a recent Tweet to their followers, Sainsbury’s said customers won't be questioned as they could have a hidden disability.

Replying to one follower who questioned whether staff would be enforcing the rules, they said: "We won’t be challenging customers without a mask when they enter or when they are in store since they may have a reason not to wear a mask."

In Scotland, face coverings on public transport and shops have been mandatory for weeks, after Nicola Sturgeon introduced the measures last month.

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