Wearing a face mask in shops and supermarkets in England is to become mandatory from 24 July
With the latest face mask headlines hitting the news, it's time to understand what the latest guidelines for the Covid-19 pandemic mean. Face masks are mandatory in public transport. Now for shoppers in England have the same news.
Earlier this year, we were told that face masks were to be mandatory in public transport in an effort to fight further spread of Covid19. It helps mitigate the risk of using busy public transport during the pandemic. There have been monumental amounts of employees on furlough. Yet there are millions of people who still need to use public transport to get work or the shops everyday. This is a large group of people that are in close proximity to each other for extended periods of time - perfect for spreading respiratory viruses. So the introduction of masks will help reduce infection risk.
The recent news will see England and Scotland sharing the same policies, which is good for the general public. It also creates less confusion, but at this point I wouldn't blame you if you are still confused. Why weren't they set in place at the same time?
Many of the general public felt that is wasn’t ‘fair’ in Scotland to wear masks in public, especially when in England, face coverings weren’t mandatory in public.
Each part of the UK is implementing rules differently. Primary needs for the public may be different depending on what region you are in. Public transport in England has become a big issue, because it is so widely used, and due to England having the highest population density, that there needs to be additional measurements in place to ensure risk is minimised at all costs.
- Transport for London
“The Tube handles up to five million passenger journeys a day”
“We manage a bus fleet of around 9,300 vehicles operating across 675 routes”
It makes sense that the English parliament has decided to make face masks mandatory for public transport. Other parts of the UK have also introduced this regulation as transport is a key spot for people from different households to be within 2 metres of each other and thus increase the risk of spreading Covid19.
It also makes sense for people to wear face masks when out in public, for the same reasons. While shopping, or even walking down the street, it's not always possible to maintain social distancing. That's not to say that face coverings can replace social distancing, but that it's best to cover all bases and wash hands, distance yourself, and wear a face mask where possible.
Labour accused the Tories of confusing Lockdown rules
Labour have gone all out in claiming that the Tory government has been too ‘slow and muddled’ to help the public understand what the rules are. They have also been accused of letting it all sit too long and asked why it couldn’t be enforced earlier.
The government has NOW made it clear that these rules would indeed be coming into effect, it needs to be adopted and enforced in EVERY TYPE of retail store or shop across the country.
So this announcement doesn’t give sufficient time for everyone to be prepared. Along with this news, anyone who is seen without wearing a face mask could face fines up to £100 If the fine is not paid before 14 days of the fine being issued. If you are able to pay the fine within 14 days, your fine will be reduced to £50.
As this new rules comes into effect, we could see a massive surge in fines given due to people not being prepared fully.
Since the 10th July In Scotland, face masks were made mandatory in public transport and shopping.
In Scotland, the new rules were greatly adopted. Over the course of the first weekend, there were no fines issued, giving promising numbers and that the public are in fact, sticking by the guidelines presented to them.
As for the UK, there seems to be a lot of resentment. The public's best interests have not been explored as much as other governments have done, leaving a lot of frustration. Even Boris shook hands with NHS staff when it was believed that hand touching would lead to contraction of the virus.
So it’s safe to say, if he had a better understanding, would he have contracted the virus in the first place? Would things be different?
While the rules of lockdown being relaxed, people have been able to properly decompress and try to get back to normal life. With this latest news, we can tell that the pandemic is far from over. In the midst of the second wave of infection, its seems that all is not over. At least the government are acknowledging the incoming dangers. But is it too late?