Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave the clearest indication to date that it could become mandatory to wear a face mask in shops and other confined areas.
Mr Johnson said:
“As we get the numbers down in the way that we have and we really stamp out outbreaks in the way that we are, I do think we need to be stricter in insisting people wear face coverings in confined spaces where they are meeting people they don’t normally meet.
“We are looking at ways of making sure that people really do have face coverings in shops, for instance, where there is a risk of transmission.”
“The balance of scientific opinion seems to have shifted more in favour of them than it was,” he said.
“We are very keen to follow that. I do want to get back to a world where the British people are able to shake hands – that’s what we are aiming for.
“But face coverings, we increasingly think that we have got to be very insistent in confined spaces, where you are meeting people you don’t normally come into contact with – transport, shops – wear a face cover.”