Public must wear face coverings in banks, shopping centres and takeaways

People will need to wear a face covering in shopping centres, banks, takeaway outlets, sandwich shops and supermarkets under new regulations due to come into force in England on Friday.

Face coverings will also be mandatory in railway stations and airports, while venues such as restaurants, pubs and gyms will be exempt.

The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed it will be compulsory to wear a face covering when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops, meaning that people will be required to wear one in the likes of Pret A Manger.

Shopper in mask
Face coverings are already mandatory in shops in Scotland (PA)

As well as shops and supermarkets, face coverings must be worn in banks, building societies and post offices under the regulations which are enforceable by the police.

Wearing a face covering will not be made mandatory in other venues including eat-in restaurants and pubs, hairdressers and other treatment salons, gyms and leisure centres, cinemas, concert halls and theatres.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “As we move into the next stage of easing restrictions for the public, it is vital we continue to shop safely so that we can make the most of our fantastic retail industry this summer.

“Everyone must play their part in fighting this virus by following this new guidance.

“I also want to thank the British public for all the sacrifices they are making to help keep this country safe.”

The same exemptions as for public transport will apply, with children under 11 and people with breathing problems not required to wear a covering.

Anyone who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment or disability is also exempt.

The public are advised to wash their hands before putting a covering or mask on or taking it off, and to avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth while wearing one.

Face coverings should be stored in a plastic bag until they can be washed or disposed of, the Department of Health said.

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