A minister has confirmed that people who go to places like Costa, Starbucks and McDonald’s will need to wear face cover from Friday.
The rule also applies to banks and gas stations.
Putting on a mask is the law before entering a store in England – including takeaways.
Confusion had arisen after the government seemed to contradict itself about whether masks would be needed in cafes and sandwich shops, reports The mirror.
Brandon Lewis told you today shall you have to mask with a takeaway – depending on why you go in there.
If you sit down to eat in the takeaway, you don’t need a mask. But if you pay for food or drink and take it out, you do need a mask.
The Northern Ireland minister said to Sky News, “Obviously, if you’re in an eatery, wearing a face mask isn’t practical.
“What will change tomorrow is if you are in a shopping environment, whether you are in a store or a supermarket, you have to wear a face mask.
“If you enter Pret a Manger and you eat in Pret a Manger, which you can do in some of their shops, then of course you don’t wear a face mask because you eat.
“But it’s clear, common sense that if you’re going to buy a takeaway and leave, you’re treating it like a store – and you should wear a face mask.”
Asked if he was sure after Tory ministers gave conflicting advice and Michael Gove in Pret was not wearing a mask, Mr. Lewis replied, “Yes.”
Mr Lewis said that as of tomorrow, people should also wear masks in the major banks and gas stations, since they are in fact a point of sale.
Mr Lewis stressed that the rules are “fairly common sense”.
He told BBC Breakfast, “If you enter an outlet and you buy as if it were a store, you should wear a face mask.
But of course it is not practical to wear a face mask while eating.
“So for the hospitality, if you go to that place to buy a sandwich and eat it on the spot, then of course you don’t have to wear a face mask.
“But if you use it as a shop, you should wear a face mask.”
Mr. Lewis’s comments come after the details of the plan have been explained to the Daily Telegraph by a government source.
The source claimed that buying food from a counter and sitting inside to eat is prohibited.
That would mean McDonald’s customers should use table service.
“You should sit down immediately when you eat. If you can sit at a table, you don’t have to wear a mask,” said the source.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will release an order later today to amend the Public Health Act 1984 to make face masks mandatory in stores in England.
They are already mandatory on public transport in England.
Children under 11, people with certain disabilities, people who eat or drink, and companions of deaf lip readers are among the exempt persons.
Shops can refuse entry to people who are not wearing masks and can call the police as a last resort. But officers warn that the law is virtually impossible to enforce.