Supermarkets rule on face masks to change this month – legal restrictions to be removed

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From Britain’s so-called “Freedom Day” onwards, people living in England could enter supermarkets without a mask. Boris Johnson has said he hopes to lift all coronavirus restrictions on July 19.

The UK’s so-called “Freedom Day” was supposed to take place on June 21, but it was pushed back five weeks.

On July 19, the Government hopes to be able to lift all coronavirus measures.

This includes wearing masks in public spaces, such as in supermarkets.

Currently, it is mandatory to wear a face mask in all retailers, and there are even members of staff near a supermarket’s entrance to ensure all customers follow the rules.

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However, from July 19, the prime minister is aiming to make the use of face masks voluntary.

It will be a part of the Government’s initiative to bring life back as close to normal as possible.

The rule on face masks, as well as social distancing measures, are set to be scrapped.

Speaking this week, Mr Johnson acknowledged some “extra precautions” will, however, still be needed.

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The prime minister added that his cabinet will reveal more details of what the end of lockdown will look like in coming days.

With the unpredictability of the coronavirus, nothing is certain.

Government sources told the Daily Mails “final decisions” have not been made yet.

But experts hope “Freedom Day” will go ahead as planned.

Earlier this week, both Mr Johnson and newly-appointed Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed their intention of ending restrictions on July 19.

The prime minister said the “terminus” date would mean going “back to life as it was before Covid as far as possible”.

Additionally, chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance are pushing “to get as much open this summer as possible before winter, which will be much more difficult”, reported the Daily Mail.

Speaking on Sky News, Environment Secretary George Eustice said he was looking forward to binning his mask as soon as there was not a “legal compulsion” to wear one.

He said: “What we want to do on the 19th of July, and the Prime Minister said that the data looks good to be able to have that end, is to remove all of the legal restrictions.

“That’s all of the legal requirements to do things to be taken away completely.

“Now, whether there will still be some people who might choose to wear masks or whether it may be advisory in some settings, that’s a separate matter.

“But the objective of that final stage is to remove the legal requirement to do these things.”

The easing of restrictions on July 19 is happening in England only.

Scotland’s government hopes to lift all coronavirus restrictions on August 9.

But even after that date, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said Scots will still have to wear face masks.

She said that after August 9, “at least for a period, we are also likely to require the continued wearing of face coverings in certain settings – for example, shops and public transport”.

Ms Sturgeon added: “In some settings, which might include schools, we ask people to continue to wear face coverings for a period longer.

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