Face masks may soon need to be worn in all public places, including offices and other workplaces, as the government prepares to reveal its roadmap to bring millions back to their desks.
Officials are reported to have started private talks with key employers as ministers plan to get people back to work without risking a second wave of coronavirus infections in the fall.
On Friday, Boris Johnson will outline his plans to get Britain back to work as it would give a welcome boost to the struggling shops, bars and restaurants in city and city centers, which would be used far more often if there weren't millions of people I still work from home.
It comes days after the new law on face masks in shops has been unveiled, making it mandatory to wear them from July 24, given the growing confusion over the government's strategy.
Proponents of a blanket rule about wearing facewear in all public places argue that this is far easier to understand, and the Department of Enterprise, Energy, and Industry Strategy has contacted groups of corporate representatives to discuss the plans, reports The Daily Telegraph.
A high-level government source reported the paper that the government is following "emerging evidence" that face covers not only help prevent the virus from spreading by an infected person, but also provide some protection to the wearer from others.
The source added: "Wearing facewear at work is already part of our guidance in some situations."
Another government source told the Daily Telegraph: "There are currently no plans to recommend face coverings in all public places, but things are moving very quickly and nothing can be ruled out.
"We said for a long time that we wouldn't tell people to wear them in shops, but now we have."
The announcement of the face mask on Tuesday was as follows:
- The UK announced 138 more coronavirus victims yesterday as the daily death toll continues to decrease, but the average number of new cases is still higher than last week.
- Ministers announced yesterday that Huawei will be banned from the UK's 5G network, with all of the company's technology to be torn out by 2027.
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak has asked the Tax Simplification Office to carry out the capital gains tax analysis, which is a tax on profits made on the sale of assets.
- The police federation, which represented ordinary officials, said it was "unrealistic and unfair" to expect them to patrol the aisles to find people who violated corona virus regulations.
- Government insiders said that wearing masks in stores could be mandatory until 2021 if no vaccine can be found to stop the deadly pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson gets into an ambulance with a face mask to speak to a paramedic during a visit to the NHS Trust headquarters in London on Monday
The roadmap, which is expected to be released later this week, shows how workers can safely return in the next nine months, The Sun reports.
Current official guidelines state that people should work from home if they can.
It is because senior police officers have been blinded by the announcement that face masks will be mandatory. Buyers will face a £ 100 fine if they refuse to comply.
The police federation, which represented ordinary officials, said it was "unrealistic and unfair" to expect them to search the corridors for people who violated corona virus regulations.
Government insiders told the Daily Mirror that if stores can't find a vaccine to stop the deadly pandemic, the mandatory wearing masks in stores could last until next year.
A cabinet source told the newspaper: “We are not doing this in terms of the timeline. This is part of the new normal.
A woman wears facewear while shopping in Canterbury, Kent before announcing that facewear will soon be mandatory in stores in England
Health Minister Matt Hancock confirmed on Tuesday that people will be required to wear them from July 24th
"Until we get a vaccine, we have to do many of these things.
Sellers fear abuse due to mandatory face coverings
Sellers have said they fear customer abuse due to mandatory facial coverage.
Rizwan Ahmed, a seller in a small supermarket in Maida Vale, London, said that despite facial signs, most customers arrive without a face mask.
Mr. Ahmed, 38, said: “I told everyone (they should wear masks) but people don't care now.
"Some people wear it, others don't. Suppose we have 100 people walking through the store, about 10 will wear a mask. & # 39;
He said enforcement of the new law would create a "difficult situation" for sellers, adding, "There could be problems because some customers are against it."
34-year-old supermarket assistant Holly from Solihull agreed that the restriction is likely to create tension between employees and customers.
She said, “We had people who got very angry when we cut purchases and reminded them of the one-way system.
"So yes, I think I and my colleagues will get more abuse from members of the public. Especially our regulars, who probably think we'll let them go. & # 39;
She added that the restriction was "too little too late" and the police had no time to deal with shoplifting, let alone people who did not wear a mask.
28-year-old Victoria Szatmari, who runs the Maida Vale Peppermint Cafe, believes that "most" customers will be aware of wearing a mask, but is "a little" concerned about whether she is expected to do so she will enforce this.
Helen Dickinson, managing director of the British Retail Consortium, said she supported the restriction, but warned that retailers should not be responsible for enforcing it.
The Usdaw union said the government's announcement on face coverings "left many questions unanswered" and agreed that enforcement could become a "hotspot" for abuse.
"We won't do that for a few weeks and then give up. It is part of a broader package of measures, such social distancing. & # 39;
Health Minister Matt Hancock told MPs: “If a person refuses to wear a face mask without exception, a store can refuse entry and call the police if people refuse to comply.
"The police have formal enforcement powers and can be fined."
He said face covers would help people "have more confidence in safe shopping" and protect staff.
They "suffered disproportionately" during the outbreak, with mortality rates among sales and retail workers higher by 75% in men and 60% in women than the general population, he said.
The decision to make facewear compulsory in England's shops, with exceptions for children under the age of 11 and people with certain disabilities and breathing conditions, sparked rage in parts of the Conservative Party.
Some grassroots members posted pictures of their cut-up membership cards on social media, while former minister Sir Desmond Swayne said in the House of Commons: "Nothing would make me go shopping less than the thought of masking myself."
He asked if the police had been consulted about the move because they "had to enforce this monstrous imposition against me and a number of outraged and reluctant voters."
Mr. Hancock said to him: "Enforcement is for the police, but enforcement is, I believe, largely done by the British people themselves, who are remarkable in their strength and who abide by these rules, even if they can be frustrating."
NPCC chairman Martin Hewitt said executives "didn't know the announcement should be made last night," but they had time to work on the measures before they came into effect.
"We will expect retailers to manage access to their stores and legal compliance while customers are in the house, with police involvement as the last resort," he said.
John Apter, leader of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "Monitoring facial wear in stores cannot be a priority because we simply don't have the resources."
He added: “The police should only interfere as a last resort.
"It is unrealistic and unfair to expect my colleagues to monitor the aisles of the supermarket and look for buyers who do not have facewear."
Paddy Lillis, Secretary General of the Usdaw union, said the government should provide detailed guidance on this measure.
"Usdaw expects the guidelines to clarify that store workers will not force facial wear," he said.
On Tuesday people at the Liverpool train station are wearing face masks. They should become mandatory in shops
"They are already experiencing more abuse than normal and this could be another focus."
Not all cabinet ministers received the memo …
The cabinet yesterday seemed more divided than ever about the mandatory wearing of face masks.
While Michael Gove was seen entering without a Pret a Manger, just a few minutes later, Liz Truss was put in the exact same branch with a blue face mask.
Mr. Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said on Sunday that it was "fundamentally good manners" to wear masks in shops.
Naked cheek: Mr. Gove leaves Pret on Tuesday left without a mask. Right, a masked Liz Truss leaves the same branch
However, yesterday morning he went against his own advice when buying his breakfast.
Shortly thereafter, Miss Truss, the international trade minister, entered the same pret in Westminster and wore a blue mask similar to that of Boris Johnson last Friday when he visited a shop in his constituency.
Some members of the Conservative Party have cut their membership cards in protest at the Prime Minister's decision to make coverage mandatory.
Several news and images posted on social media claiming the new rules were inconsistent with the party's libertarian ethos.
The latest data also raises questions about corona virus enforcement and shows that not a single person in England and Wales has been fined by the police for violating the quarantine rules after arriving from abroad.
And only 10 tickets were distributed to passengers who did not have face covers in public transport, as the numbers released on Friday by the NPCC showed.
Peter Cowgill, CEO of JD Sports, suggested that his business offer facewear to anyone who doesn't wear it, but said that it wasn't up to his employees to enforce the law.
"The guidance so far is that our business colleagues shouldn't really get involved and it is a police matter to get them through instead of getting involved in possible public disturbances," he told BBC Radio 4 & # 39; s Today.
National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, Mike Cherry, urged the government to provide cover or funding for the purchase so customers wouldn't be turned away.
The change in mask policy follows a weekend of confusion over whether ministers intended to make facewear compulsory after Boris Johnson said they were dealing with "stricter" rules.
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said on Sunday that he did not think they should be mandatory and that it was better to trust people's common sense.
The government has been urging people to wear face-covering in the tightest of spaces, such as shops, since the beginning of May, and has been mandatory for public transport in England since mid-June.
The provisions are made under the 1984 Public Health (Disease Control) Act with a maximum penalty of £ 100, which will be reduced to £ 50 if paid within 14 days.
Shadow Health Minister Jonathan Ashworth said ministers needed to explain why it took them so long to act and accused them of being "slow and confused".
MailOnline has been flooded with emails from business owners left baffled and upset by the face mask dictation that fears this will bring their businesses to a standstill, as it turns out that Britain is at risk of the greatest peace deficit in history will have four million people out of work by next year – and the economy could only recover in 2025.
Jools Cardozo, who heads Farringdon and Forbes Home Interiors at Leamington Spa, said: “Our main streets are almost deserted, businesses have to close, and now the government wants to tighten the last nail in the coffin by putting masks on all buyers! How ridiculous. I am all for the safety of my employees and customers, but when I impose this on a random future date, I cry out in despair. "
Susan Carlin, who runs a corner shop, told MailOnline: “I doubt that many of our customers will be willing to wear one – very few – and employees will not find it convenient to ask customers to wear. However, if we let in a larger number without masks, the request will be mocked. "
A customer wears a face mask in a shop in London on Tuesday. They will soon be mandatory from July 24th
She added: “We had a good social 2 meter distance system that customers were willing to adapt well to, and we work behind a screen. I think this is a completely unnecessary and unenforceable rule that will cause major complaints to my employees.
Do face coverings help reduce the transmission of coronaviruses?
Initially, many agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), suggested that face coverings could not effectively prevent the spread of Covid-19, but now recommend wearing them indoors.
Has the science of face covering evolved?
A recent report published by the Royal Society suggests that even simple homemade facewear can reduce transmission if enough people wear it.
Dr. Julian Tang, associate professor of respiratory science at the University of Leicester, said wearing face coverings in public places could keep the R-value below 1 by creating "artificial herd immunity".
Dr. Simon Clarke, associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, however, said that while face covering can reduce the spread of cough drops, there is still no solid epidemiological evidence of their benefits.
Are there any advantages to wearing them?
Experts say that the risk of coronavirus transmission appears to be higher in poorly ventilated indoor areas, and wearing face coverings in small stores or closed malls could help reduce the spread.
In addition, there is growing evidence that many people who have no symptoms with the virus can still be contagious.
What does this mean for those who want to return to the office?
Experts say that wearing face cover could be an additional line of defense if there is increasing evidence of coronavirus transmission in the air.
Dr. Tang said, "If half of the people in the office wore a mask, it would increase the immunity of the artificial herd to about 25%, which can reduce overall transmission within the office by only reducing the number of vulnerable people."
Are there any drawbacks to coverage?
There are many interiors such as pubs and restaurants where the use of face coverings may not be possible.
Some experts have also shared concerns that wearing facewear may give the wearer a false sense of security, although Prof. Neal said there is "no evidence that this is the case."
Are some facewear better than others?
The WHO recommends a three-layer face covering in the community – the outer layer should be water-resistant, the inner layer should be water-absorbent and the middle layer should act as a filter.
The government has said that covers can be made from scarves, bandanas, or other fabric items as long as they cover the mouth and nose.
However, scientists at the Leverhulme Center say that some covers are not as effective as others, with loosely woven fabrics such as scarves having proven to be the least effective.
Moshe Schmahl, who works for Nat Jacobs Fishmongers in north London, said: “There is essential communication between the dealer and the customer.
With face masks, it is extremely difficult to understand the other person. Let us hope that the government will provide some clarifications and exceptions. "
Dean Roddie, director of seven carpet shops in Warwickshire, told MailOnline that he "scraped back part of his lost business."
He added: “We were able to keep a distance of 2 meters in our shops and we used disinfectants and screens at desks, and until this insanity of making masks mandatory, everything seemed to have gone well.
"I am really concerned that this will have a massive impact on our business. I don't think people will bother buying a non-essential item while wearing a mask. Sometimes our customers can be in our store for an hour, so it can be one. It takes a long time for the mask to be put on, especially when it is 2 meters away from our employees so they don't have to wear it.
"I'm done with this government now, I'm a conservative member that won't be renewed. I personally will shop online since I will not wear any. & # 39;
Andy Luckman of AJL Electronics and Classic Microcars in Gloucester added: “I have a security rule in my shop that says if you can't see your face clearly you won't come in. I have no intention of changing this rule because of hysteria. & # 39;
But many shoppers have reported on social media that they will still refuse to wear a mask that the new rule calls "hysterical," and Tory members have cut their membership cards because the face mask rules are the "last straw." " are.
It comes after French President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday that face masks will soon be required in public interiors to curb the outbreak of the coronavirus and admitted that the infections were on the rise again.
His comments on a Bastille Day television interview came after he oversaw the traditional military ceremony, which was drastically reduced due to the pandemic.
"I want to make masks compulsory in all closed public spaces," said Macron in an interview, a tradition of the Bastille Day that he had avoided since taking office three years ago.
"We have evidence that the outbreak is accelerating somewhat," he added, suggesting that his government would require masks in shops and public buildings from August 1.
He later wrote on Twitter: "Wearing a mask in closed public spaces will be mandatory in the coming weeks."
The virus reproduction rate, the "R" ratio, has risen above one again in France, which means that a person infected with COVID-19 is likely to transmit the disease to at least one other person.
Macron's comments come when doctors warned of a possible second wave of infection that could overwhelm hospitals again and require new locks that could further burden the economy.
When asked if France had enough masks in the event of a new surge, Macron said after massive bottlenecks when the March outbreak worsened: "We'll be ready."
"We have secured both inventory and supply and are organized locally so we can cope with an upswing when it comes," he said.
He also said that the government's "massive" recovery plan would reach $ 100 billion ($ 114 billion), in addition to more than $ 460 billion previously spent on the social and economic devastation imposed by the middle of March Limit blocking.
Priority will be given to investments to combat climate change, such as increasing freight transport by rail instead of trucks and providing subsidies to improve energy efficiency in homes and public buildings.
"I think we can build another country in the next 10 years," he said.
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