Mask-Wearing to Stay in Many Settings after July 19th as Businesses Set Own Rules

Boris Johnson is due to announce the end of face masks laws from July 19th later today but will continue to advise mask-wearing in crowded and enclosed spaces. Businesses will be allowed to set their own rules, and it is expected that Brits will have to carry on wearing face masks in shops, pubs, buses and trains after “Freedom Day”, according to the Telegraph.

“We will still be encouraging people that it is probably sensible to wear a mask in a busy enclosed space,” said a source. “Although it is not legally required, it doesn’t mean people should not strongly consider doing it.

“You don’t have to wear them but if shops, pubs or restaurants demand that you do, we will advise people to be mindful of that and stick to it because it is their premises.”

Hospitality chiefs said masks, table service and the rule of six would continue in some venues after July 19th, as Covid risk assessments, enforced by councils, are left to individual businesses.

Kate Nicholls, the Chief Executive of U.K. Hospitality, an industry body, said: “There’s going to be customers who are expecting everything to fall away and there’s going to be places that they won’t be able to do that.”

Millions of commuters on London’s Tube are also likely to be told they must continue wearing masks after July 19th, as well as Tube buskers, who must even wear a mask when they sing.

This is exactly what Conservative MP and Deputy Chair of the Covid Recovery Group Steve Baker warned would happen last week when he said that Sajid Javid had “worsened” the prospect of all restrictions being lifted on July 19th. “Voluntary measures will be interpreted by the Health and Safety Executive and businesses and could effectively be compulsory,” Baker said. “So until the Government stops recommending these things, too many businesses will become unviable.”

The Telegraph report is worth reading in full.