Face masks mandatory in shops from 24 July

24 July, 2020 / by Matt Smith

The Government’s plans to make mask-wearing compulsory in shops came into force on Friday 24 July 2020.

Masks are now mandatory in enclosed public spaces including supermarkets, banks and post offices. They must also be worn when buying takeaway food and drink, although they can be removed in a seating area. Those who break the rules could face a fine of up to £100, unless you are eligible for one of several exemptions.

The exemptions for shops in England are in line with the guidance for public transport. Children under 11 are exempt as are people with a disability who are unable to put on or wear a face covering.

Banks, building societies and other businesses, including shops and pharmacies, may ask for face coverings to be removed to aid identifications.

Customers must wear a face covering before entering any shop and must keep it on until they leave but shop workers do not have to wear them.

Limiting the spread

Mask wearing measures have been introduced to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Below is a graphic showing an experiment carried out by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It shows an experiment of a person sneezing when not wearing a face covering and the same person sneezing whilst wearing a mask.

On MIT’s website, it says that:

‘Of course, no public venue is without risk at this point, and masks will never be 100 percent protective, even if used 100 percent of the time. However, in combination with social distancing, our cloth masks are very effective at preventing the spread of the virus. Remember, your mask protects other people; their masks protect you.’

‘Vast majority will follow and co-operate’

The Chiswick Calendar spoke to Zsophia Csondor, a Police Community Support Officer for Southfield ward, about the changes, and to find out how the new rules will be enforced in locally.

“We just follow the four E’s… Which is engage, encourage, explain and enforce – as a last resort”.

“Enforce is definitely a last resort if someone is refusing to wear them. It is Government guidance now and it’s a risk to public health and safety [not wearing a mask].”

“We will try to be encouraging everyone and explain the risks and try to approach it in a very friendly manner. We don’t want to be jumping on everyone straight away”.

Asked whether she thought it would be a challenge to get people to follow the guidance in Chiswick, Zsophia said:

“I don’t think so, most people will definitely follow, I’ve just been out for lunch and I just saw that absolutely everyone is keeping to the rules. Everyone wore masks inside and there was also staff by the doors to explain and remind people because you know it’s a new thing for everyone”.

“So if someone doesn’t wear it, it doesn’t ultimately mean that they don’t want to or want to rebel or something it could be that they just forget it”.

“So we’re just going to explain, ask them to wear one and the vast majority will follow and co-operate”.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Face masks mandatory on public transport

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