Sector calls for clarity over mixed messaging on face coverings

Customer with face mask

Retailers have called for clarity from the government with regards to the possibility of face coverings being made mandatory in English shops.

The possibility of England following Scotland’s lead and making face coverings mandatory in shops to slow the spread of coronavirus was first raised by prime minister Boris Johnson last Friday.

However, cabinet office minister Michael Gove walked that possibility back on Sunday when he said that, while face coverings inside shops are “basic good manners”, they would not become mandatory.

Gove said the government trusted “people’s good sense” on the issue, despite the prime minister wearing a mask on a visit to his constituency of Uxbridge last Friday. Johnson said then that “the balance of scientific opinion seems to have shifted more in favour of them than it was, and we’re very keen to follow that”.

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