Face coverings are compulsory in Scottish shops, but shoppers currently do not have to wear them in stores in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted that they could soon be made mandatory in shops as he was pictured wearing one in public for the first time on Friday.
But this was contradicted by Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, who said face masks should not be made mandatory in shops but should be worn out of courtesy and consideration for others.
Express.co.uk is asking you should face coverings be compulsory in shops?
During a Q&A session with voters on social media, Mr Johnson hinted mask wearing in shops would soon be made mandatory.
He said: “As we get the virus down, in the way that we have, and we stamp out local outbreaks in the way that we are, I do think we need to be stricter in insisting that people wear face coverings in confined places.
“We’re looking at ways of making sure that people really do have face coverings, in shops, for example.”
But on Sunday, Mr Gove said face coverings should not be made mandatory in shops in England, but he would encourage people to wear them.
Mr Gove told the BBC: “I don’t think mandatory, no, but I would encourage people to wear face masks when they are inside, in an environment where they are likely to be mixing with others and where the ventilation may not be as good as it might.
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“I think that it is basic good manners, courtesy and consideration, to wear a face mask if you are, for example, in a shop.
“I trust people’s good sense. Now of course the Government at all times does look at the emerging evidence about what the best way to control the disease is.
“If necessary, and if tough measures are required and as we have seen in Leicester, obviously a very different situation, then tough measures will be taken.
“But on the whole… it is always best to trust people’s common sense.”
Mr Gove said that wearing a face covering “definitely helps you to help others in enclosed space”.
“Face masks are appropriate in some settings and not in others… wearing a face mask when you are out and about outdoors is significantly less necessary than when you are indoors.”
Downing Street has faced questions about why more Cabinet ministers are not wearing face coverings after new figures suggested the majority of Britons are covering up while in public.
Fresh data from the Office for National Statistics indicated that 52 percent of adults in Britain had worn a face covering when leaving their home in the final week of June, up from 43 percent on the week before.
Regardless of whether they had worn a face covering previously, 58 percent of the 1,788 adults quizzed between July 2-5 said they were very or fairly likely to wear one in the next seven days.
The level of usage provoked further questions for Number 10 about why so few of the Government’s leading figures had been spotted wearing a face covering.
Mr Johnson was only spotted wearing a surgical mask in public for the first time on Friday, while Chancellor Rishi Sunak was pictured serving food to customers at a Wagamama restaurant in central London without a covering.