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Decision in the next few days over mandatory face coverings in shops

Reported in the Huffington Post, Boris Johnson will decide "in the next few days" whether face coverings will be mandatory in shops as the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted in England. Speaking on a visit to the London Ambulance on Monday, the prime minister said coverings have “have real value in confined spaces” and that people “should” wear them in shops. But he went on to say his government had yet to make a ruling on whether they should be made compulsory.

It comes after Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove sparked confusion by saying on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show that coverings would not be enforced in shops but that wearing them was “basic good manners”.

The prime minister told reporters during a visit to the London Ambulance Service HQ in London that there was “growing” evidence face coverings could limit the spread of Covid-19.

He said: “They have a great deal of value in confined spaces where you’re coming into contact with people you don’t normally meet.

“The scientific evaluation of face coverings and their importance on stopping aerosol droplets, that’s been growing, so I do think that in shops it is very important to wear a face covering if you’re going to be in a confined space and you want to protect other people and receive protection in turn.”

Asked if it was his personal view that coverings should be worn, he said: “Yes. Face coverings, I think, people should be wearing in shops, and in terms of how we do that – whether we will be making that mandatory or not – we will be looking at the guidance. We will be saying a little bit more in the next few days.”

Johnson said: “What I want to see is people who have been working from home for a long time, now talking to their employers, talking to their places of work, about the steps that have been taken, and looking to come back to work in a safe way,” he said.

“I think that’s got to be the key thing. Where businesses have made a huge effort to make the work