Following the opening of all non-essential shops in the UK on June 15, the government has now said that it will be compulsory for shoppers to wear face masks/coverings from July 24.

This latest ruling has the full backing from the police, with anyone disregarding it being at risk of getting a fine of up to £100. This will be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

This new move from the UK government follows in line with Scotland other European nations like Italy, Germany and Spain. Environment Secretary George Eustice said it's about "managing the overall risk" after the government's chief scientific adviser suggested there could be around 120,000 coronavirus deaths in hospitals during a "reasonable" worst-case scenario this winter.

Matt Hancock, the country's Health Secretary, said it would "give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protections for those who work in shops".

In England, since mid-May, the public have been advised to wear face masks in enclosed spaces where they might encounter people they wouldn't usually meet. The same ruling has also been compulsory on public transport since June 15.

Although most shoppers will be expected to be masked-up, the rule doesn't apply to children under the age of 11 and those with certain disabilities. Retail staff are also exempt from wearing masks.

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