Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
UK, France Move to Extend Rules on Face Coverings in Public
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 years ago on
July 14, 2020

Share

LONDON — Britain and France moved Tuesday to make face coverings compulsory in more places as both countries try to get their economies going while at the same time seeking to prevent further coronavirus outbreaks.

Britain and France previously took a more relaxed attitude to face coverings than many other European nations, recommending masks but not requiring them. Germany, Spain, Italy and Greece already require masks to be worn in enclosed spaces.
Following days of procrastination and mixed messages, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the wearing of face coverings will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England from July 24.
On the other side of the English Channel, amid signs of a slight virus resurgence in France, President Emmanuel Macron said he also wants to require masks inside all indoor public spaces by Aug. 1.
Britain and France previously took a more relaxed attitude to face coverings than many other European nations, recommending masks but not requiring them. Germany, Spain, Italy and Greece already require masks to be worn in enclosed spaces.
But with their economies reeling after months-long lockdowns, French and U.K. government leaders were anxious to try to persuade people to spend again — hopefully without spreading the virus. Weeks of indecision made way for new rules that came into view virtually overnight.
Britain’s Hancock told lawmakers in the House of Commons Tuesday that face covers can help workers and shoppers alike.
“In recent weeks, we have reopened retail and footfall is rising,” he said. “We want to give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protection for those who work in shops.”

The New Requirement Only Applies to England

People in England already have to wear face coverings on public transport and in hospital settings.
Anyone not wearing a face covering in the additional environments outlined by the government could be fined 100 pounds ($125,) and shops can refuse entry to anyone failing to comply. Children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt.
The new requirement only applies to England. The other nations of the U.K. — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — can determine their own public health policies, and Scotland already requires masks in shops.
Hancock stressed that wearing a face covering complements other accepted strategies aimed at keeping a lid on the pandemic, such as washing hands and abiding by social distancing rules.
“We cannot let our progress today lead to complacency tomorrow,” he said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who in April spent a week in the hospital being treated for COVID-19, began wearing a bright blue mask in public last week. The change in policy followed.
In an interview with French television networks marking Bastille Day, France’s Macron said “the best prevention” against the virus is masks, social distancing and hand washing.
Recent rave parties in France and widespread backsliding on social distancing — even within Macron’s presidential palace and other government facilities — have raised concern lately, so the government has been weighing tougher mask guidance.
[covid-19-tracker]

Wearing Face Coverings Brings Some Benefit in Preventing the Spread of the Virus

“We have signs that (the virus) is picking up a bit,” Macron said, noting that France’s virus reproduction rate is inching past 1 again, meaning each infected person is infecting at least one other.
British authorities are hoping the public will comply with the new requirement. London Mayor Sadiq Khan told the BBC he believed that “Londoners by and large will follow the rules,” without too much need for the police.
“The problem is not the issue of enforcement, the problem is the mixed messages and the confused communications,” Khan said.
British Environment Secretary George Eustice also did not rule out the possibility that mandatory face coverings would become compulsory in offices and other workplaces in the future. He told the BBC that the government was taking “one step at a time and we’ve taken the view in this next step that we should make it mandatory in retail environments.”
A growing body of evidence suggests wearing face coverings brings some benefit in preventing the spread of the virus.
“Lack of strong evidence of their effectiveness should not be considered a problem but the evidence is accumulating that they have a part to play in reducing transmission and also in protecting the wearer,” said Keith Neal, an epidemiologist at the University of Nottingham.

DON'T MISS

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

DON'T MISS

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

DON'T MISS

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

DON'T MISS

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

DON'T MISS

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

DON'T MISS

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

DON'T MISS

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DON'T MISS

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

DON'T MISS

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

DON'T MISS

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

UP NEXT

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

UP NEXT

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

UP NEXT

Israeli Settlers Rampage Through a West Bank Village, Killing 1 Palestinian and Wounding 25

UP NEXT

US Intelligence Finding Shows China Surging Equipment Sales to Russia to Help War Effort in Ukraine

UP NEXT

Several Writers Decline Recognition From PEN America in Protest Over Its Israel-Hamas War Stance

UP NEXT

US Consumer Sentiment Falls Slightly as Outlook for Inflation Worsens

UP NEXT

Tennessee Lawmakers Send Bill to Ban First-Cousin Marriages to Governor

UP NEXT

Instagram Blurs Nude Messages to Protect Teens, Fight Sexual Extortion

UP NEXT

Harvard Again Requiring Standardized Test Scores for Those Seeking Admission

UP NEXT

More Aid Is Supposed to Be Entering the Gaza Strip. Why Isn’t It Helping?

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 days ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

2 days ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

2 days ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

2 days ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

2 days ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

2 days ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

2 days ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

2 days ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

2 days ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

Last June, more than half of California’s lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats alike, with no particular ideological preference — attended ...

18 hours ago

18 hours ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

18 hours ago

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

1 day ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

2 days ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 days ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

2 days ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

2 days ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend