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Sadiq Khan urges Boris Johnson to make face coverings mandatory in all shops

Sadiq Khan has urged the Prime Minister to extend the rules around face coverings

2 min read

Sadiq Khan has called on Boris Johnson to make face coverings mandatory in all shops and enclosed public spaces.

The London Mayor claimed the UK was "lagging behind" other countries as he called for face coverings to become a "more regular part" of daily life.

It comes just days after face coverings were made mandatory on all public transport in England with passengers facing fines or being refused travel if they fail to comply.

But in a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Khan said: "It is increasingly clear that face coverings will play a key role in our efforts to stop the further spread of the virus and they need to become a more regular part of our day-to-day life.

"The high level of use on our public transport has again shown that Londonders are willing to act to protect their community, but the Government's current rules are lagging behind other countries."

More than 3,000 extra staff from Transport for London, British Transport Police and Network Rail have been deployed at stations to coincide with the easing of lockdown restrictions on non-essential retail.

But Mr Khan said the use of coverings should be expanded to include shops and other places where complying with the 2 metre social distancing rules would be impossible.

He added: "With non-essential shops now opening and the public returning to our high streets, I urge the Government to follow World Health Organisation guidance and make these coverings mandatory for those shopping in retail outlets and in other spaces where it is impossible to keep a safe distance."

Responding to the letter, a Number 10 spokesperson said: "Our guidance remains that we advise people to wear face coverings if they can in enclosed spaces such as shops where they come into contact with people they do not usually meet.

"The difference between public transport and shops is that in a shop you may pass somebdoy but for a short period of time, where as on public transport you could be next to somebody for a long period of time."

They added: "The guidance for shops which is in place sets out the measures they should consider to help customers and staff maintain social distancing and prevent any overcrowding."

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