When will we stop wearing face masks in shops?
13 May 2021, 18:09
When will face masks stop being compulsory in shops in England? Here's everything we know so far.
Since the early stages of the pandemic, face masks have been mandatory in places like shops and public transport.
Unless you are exempt, refusing to wear a covering in these settings could land you with a fine of up to £200.
We currently don't know how long face masks will be required in England, but there have been recent reports that the rule on wearing them in shops may be lifted next month.
Here's what we know...
When can we stop wearing face masks in shops?
We don't know how long face masks will be mandatory in shops, and there hasn't been any official government confirmation on the matter.
However, a report published on May 13 in The Sun claimed that masks could be ditched as early as June 21, which is the proposed date that lockdown restrictions - including social distancing - will be lifted.
An insider told the publication: "The current thinking points to social distancing going and mask wearing only in limited settings like buses, trains and the Tube.
"Obviously this is all dependent on final sign-off but the data is looking good and the political will is there for a proper lift-off."
The reports are unconfirmed, however, and we won't know the proposed rules on masks until nearer the time.
When announcing his roadmap out of lockdown, Boris Johnson revealed that the fourth and final stage will take place on June 21 at the earliest.
He added, however, that all lockdown-easing will be driven by 'data not dates' and dependent on the following four test being met:
- The vaccine deployment continuing successfully
- There is evidence that the vaccine is effective in reducing deaths
- There isn't a surge in hospitalisation
- Assessment of risks are not fundamentally changed by new variants of Covid that cause concern