Wearing a face covering whilst visiting shops in England is compulsory from today.
Those who fail to comply with the new rules will face a fine of up to £100, which will be enforced by the police.
Retail staff will be exempt from the new mandatory rule but will be expected to encourage the policy.
The decision was announced after mounting pressure on the Prime Minister to make a decision following confusion over whether the new rule should come into force amid evidence that masks can hinder the transmission of the virus.
Face coverings were made mandatory on public transport on June 15.
The move from the Prime Minister will also bring England in line with other major European countries such as Spain, Italy and Germany.
From July 27, three-layer face coverings will be made mandatory on public transport in Wales and on Friday in Northern Ireland masks became compulsory on public transport. Both measures are said to be under review.
Since mid-May, the public have been advised to wear coverings in enclosed public spaces, where they may encounter people they would not usually meet.
A YouGov poll found that 36% of people in the UK wear a face mask in public places, compared with 86% in Spain, 83% in Italy, 78% in France and 65% in Germany.
AMP recently reported on who is exempt from having to wear a mask in retail stores.
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