// Face masks to be made compulsory for retail staff in England from Thursday
// Prime minister Boris Johnson said the rules come as infections of Covid-19 increase
// Other measures include pubs, bars and restaurants shutting their doors at 10pm
Prime minister Boris Johnson has said that all retail workers in England will need to wear face coverings from Thursday, or retailers face fines of up to £10,000.
Speaking earlier in the House of Commons, the PM said the new rules come as infections of Covid-19 increase across the UK.
Johnson added that the measures aim to ensure retailers can remain open in a “Covid-secure way”.
“From Thursday, we will extend the requirement to wear face coverings to include staff in retail, all users of taxis and private-hire vehicles and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink,” Johnson said.
“In retail, leisure and tourism and other sectors, our Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations.”
Meanwhile, police presence will increase to make sure businesses are following the new measures.
High street retailers could face fines of up to £10,000 for not complying.
Moreover, individual fines for people not wearing masks in stores, on public transport and in taxis will also be doubled from £100 to £200 for a first-time offence.
From Thursday, all pubs and restaurants will be forced to offer table service only and will have to close at 10pm.
The prime minister said that the UK was at a “perilous turning point” with the virus surging across all areas and age groups.
Nevertheless, a second national lockdown looms if the public fails to comply with the new restrictions.
Johnson also confirmed a government U-turn on getting people back into offices, and workers should work from home “if they can”.
The latest round of restrictions are likely set for the next six months, meaning it will be in place during Black Friday, the Christmas trading period and the New Year.