Face masks to be compulsory in takeaways and sandwich shops from tomorrow as guidance released to clear confusion

GUIDANCE is due to be published later today in a bid to clear confusion over where and when to wear face masks.

Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 8:49 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 9:46 am

The advice comes less than 24 hours before new rules come into force across the Portsmouth area, which will force people to wear facial covering in stores.

Critics have accused the government of mixed messages over the new rules after senior cabinet ministers were pictured in sandwich shops without a facial covering.

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Shoppers wearing face masks in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, after the shopping hub reopened last month. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)

But seeking to dispel confusion over the measures ahead of their introduction tomorrow, cabinet minister Brandon Lewis said coverings should be worn.

‘If you are going into a takeaway and you are eating in somewhere that’s got a takeaway then that is like hospitality; you are eating, it’s not practical to wear a facemask – we recognise that,’ the Tory minister told BBC Breakfast this morning.

‘But if you’re going in to buy a product and leaving again, you are treating it like a shop and you should be wearing a face mask.’

From tomorrow face masks or coverings will be compulsory in all shops.

A retail worker wearing personal protective equipment as a precautionary measure against Covid-19, at Gunwharf Quays. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images

Under the new rules, people will need to have their nose and mouth covered or face a fine of up to £100.

People with certain disabilities will be exempt.

This comes after rules requiring people to wear face coverings on public transport became mandatory last month.

Customers now visiting fast food outlets like McDonalds would be expected to wear masks if ordering food from inside the restaurant and taking it away.

People wanting to eat inside would have to sit down for table service if they wanted to enjoy their meal indoors. Masks would not be needed on those occasion.

But buying food from a counter then sitting down will be banned, under proposals.

McDonald's has already announced it will reopen around 700 dine-in restaurants across the UK this week, with customers able to place their orders on a mobile app.

Downing Street fuelled confusion last week after saying masks would not be compulsory in takeaways, when health secretary Matt Hancock insisted they would.

Questioned over who was correct, Mr Hancock said: ‘You do need to wear a face mask in Pret because Pret is a shop.

‘If there's table service, it is not necessary to have a mask. But in any shop, you do need a mask. So, if you're going up to the counter in Pret to buy takeaway that is a shop.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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