WebMD News Brief

Britain, France to Strengthen Face Mask Rules

photo of man in mask

July 15, 2020 -- The governments of Britain and France are moving to make facial coverings mandatory in more places.

Starting July 24, face masks will be compulsory inside shops and markets, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Tuesday, according to the Washington Post.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent a week in the hospital with the coronavirus in April. He began wearing a mask last week, the Post said.

The fine for violating the rule will be 100 pounds ($125) and shops could deny entry to anybody not wearing a mask.

The BBC said that masks currently are required on public transportation in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and will be on July 27 in Wales. Masks are already mandatory in shops in Scotland.

The United Kingdom has reported more than 292,000 coronavirus cases and 45,000 deaths.

As France marked Bastille Day, President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview on French television that he wanted to make masks mandatory at all indoor spaces by August 1, according to France24.

Marcon said the virus had been in decline during the lockdown but started spreading as French society began to reopen.

"We have some signs that it's coming back a bit," he said. "Faced with that, we must anticipate and prepare.

"I want us, in the next few weeks, to make masks compulsory in enclosed public places. … I ask fellow citizens to wear masks as much as possible when they are outside, and especially so when they are in an enclosed space," Macron said.

France reported more than 209,000 coronavirus cases and 30,000 deaths.

WebMD Health News Brief Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on July 15, 2020

Sources

Washington Post. "UK, France move to extend rules on face coverings in public"

BBC. "PM says face coverings ‘should be worn’ in shops"

France24. Macron: Wearing masks ‘in enclosed public spaces’ to become mandatory in France

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.