Shoppers of Leeds respond to latest masks rule change

Shoppers across Leeds have responded to the news that wearing a mask is to be made mandatory in shops.

Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 10:46 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 10:50 am

As of July 24, you must have your nose and mouth covered when you go shopping or risk a £100 fine - reduced to £50 if it is paid within 14 days.

It will be up to police to dish out penalties and not business owners or shop workers, although they are being asked to encourage customers to comply.

The regulations will be made under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

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Shoppers across Leeds will have to wear a mask as of July 24

Now, shoppers across Leeds have told the Yorkshire Evening Post their thoughts on the latest changes.

Guy Moxon said the new changes were a 'good idea'.

He said: "What a good idea,if it will help stop the spread of the virus and help protect individuals .

"As this virus is air borne no one knows what spots areas could be harbouring the virus.

"Protect one, protect all I say."

Dorothy Brown also added: "Brilliant, should have done it sooner!"

However, many Leeds residents urged the government to bring forward the July 24 date for the rule change.

John Ainley said: "I know we would have liked it to be enforced earlier but it’s here now.

"You don’t have to wait 10 days to action it.

"Won’t it be great for people to show leadership and start it from today."

Environment Secretary George Eustice defended the delay in introducing the measure to combat the spread of coronavirus as the UK relaxes the lockdown.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will announce in the Commons on Tuesday afternoon that anyone failing to comply with the order in England from July 24 could face a fine of up to £100.

Urging the public to "play their part and to abide by these restrictions", Mr Eustice said retailers and shoppers have responsibilities before the police will be asked to step in.

"Of course retailers have been very responsible in the way they're approaching this challenge, they will have a role to play in making sure there's compliance," he told Today.

"But when it comes to that final sanction of issuing a penalty, that is something that only the police can do."

Also raising questions over enforcement, the latest data showed not a single person in England and Wales was fined by police for breaching quarantine rules after arriving from abroad.

And only 10 tickets were handed out to passengers for not wearing face coverings on public transport, the figures released by the National Police Chiefs' Council on Friday showed.

Meanwhile, Mr Eustice said the face coverings would not be compulsory for shop staff, or in pubs and restaurants, and he defended the delays to introducing the measure.

He told the BBC that ministers want to "give people time to plan and prepare" by delaying the enforcement of the measure until July 24.

The Cabinet minister said the measure, which had been in place in Scotland since Friday, was now backed by the Westminster Government because the evidence "has been evolving".

The move follows a weekend of confusion over whether ministers intended to make face coverings compulsory after Boris Johnson said they were looking at "stricter" rules.