London, Jul 14 (efe-epa).- It will be mandatory to wear a face covering in shops in England from 24 June, the government is due to announce on Tuesday.
Anyone found in breach of the new rule will be at risk of a £100 fine from the police.
The measure will be implemented to help contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country, which has had the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths in Europe.
Environment secretary George Eustice told BBC Breakfast on Tuesday: “It is about managing the overall risk. Any type of covering will be sufficient for this purpose.”
The rule on masks will bring England into line with Scotland and other European countries such as Spain, Italy and Germany.
Scottish authorities made masks mandatory in shops on 10 June while Wales and Northern Ireland have said they are reviewing the measures.
Britain’s government has come under fire for its handling of the crisis with criticisms of conflicting messages from ministers.
It follows weeks of confusion after some ministers suggested in recent days that the British public should use common sense instead of advocating the mandatory use of masks.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday the country needed to take a tougher approach to these standards indoors and was photographed wearing a face mask in a shop in his Uxbridge constituency.
Wearing a mask has been compulsory on public transport in England since 15 June and the government recommended in May that they be worn in enclosed public spaces.