‘It’s about protecting others’ - face masks become mandatory for shoppers

Matt Hancock is expected to reveal the guidance on face coverings later on Tuesday Picture: SARAH LU

Matt Hancock is expected to reveal the guidance on face coverings later on Tuesday Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Suffolk health experts are urging people to wear face coverings to keep the virus ‘under control’ as the Government makes it compulsory that they are worn in shops and supermarkets.

The government announced today that customers must wear some form of face covering while in shops in England from July 24 to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.

Police will be able to issue fines of £100, which would be halved if paid within 14 days, to those who refuse to comply.

MORE: Where can you buy face masks in Suffolk?Extra precautions, including wearing a face covering, are advised when in situations where a 2m distance between others is not possible - the so-called 1m-plus rule.

Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock revealed the new guidance was being introduced in parliament this afternoon.

And Suffolk supports the move with 59% of respondents in our poll saying they believed it should be mandatory.

Tony Goldson, chairman of the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board, said the decision to make shoppers wear masks or coverings was “belated” - but the right one nonetheless.

He said: “People need to understand that wearing masks is not just about protecting themselves - it’s about protecting others.

Most Read

“We have to be realistic, as this virus is not going away and we need to get our economy going. We need to get the message out there that wearing masks or face coverings reduces the risk of spreading Covid-19.

“If you are not wearing a mask and have the virus, you could spread it to so many people. We have to keep it under control.”

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, urged people to stick to the new guidelines.

He said: “I implore everyone to use your common sense and cover your face when required to do so. It’s so very important these instructions are followed to reduce the risk of infection and a spike in cases.

“I am concerned about an extra burden this places on police, but if we all do the right thing and take responsibility for our actions I hope the police will not need to issue penalty tickets.”

MORE: Do you think face coverings should be compulsory?