New mask rules announced by Boris Johnson for England

Face masks already mandatory in shops across England will now be made compulsory in more places.

During a special press conference on Friday afternoon the Prime Minister said current face mask rule – that masks must be worn in shops and takeaways – will be extended to galleries, cinemas and places of worship, from August 8.

The rule change was announced as plans to reopen bowling alleys, casinos and ice rinks from tomorrow have been scrapped – as have pilot schemes to restart events at sports centres and conference venues.

Wedding receptions have also been scrapped for at least a fortnight.

Mr Johnson said: “We will also extend the requirement to wear a face covering to other indoor settings where you are likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.

“We now recommend face coverings are worn in these settings, and this will become enforceable in law from August 8.

“At this stage, we are not changing the rules on social contact nationally. I don’t want to tell people to spend less time with their friends. But unless people follow the rules and behave safely, we may need to go further.

“Two weeks ago, I said we would hope for the best but plan for the worst.

“And of course we continue to hope for the best. The way to get there and to achieve that optimum outcome is if we all follow the rules, wash our hands, cover our faces, keep our distance – and get a test if we have symptoms, so that NHS Test and Trace can keep the virus under control.

“This is how we will avoid a return to full national lockdown.

“We’ve made huge progress together.

“I know we are going succeed and I know we are going to beat this – if each and every one of us plays our part.”

The Prime Minister has said that despite progress being made in combating Covid-19, the UK cannot think it is exempt from a rise in cases.

At a press conference on Friday, Boris Johnson said: “I’ve also consistently warned that this virus could come back and that we would not hesitate to take swift and decisive action as required.

“I’m afraid that in parts of Asia and in Latin America, the virus is gathering pace and some of our European friends are also struggling to keep it under control.

“As we see these rises around the world, we can’t fool ourselves that we are exempt. We must be willing to react to the first signs of trouble.”

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