Thursday 18 June 2020 10:17 am

Sadiq Khan urges PM to make face masks compulsory in shops as well as public transport

Sadiq Khan has urged the government to force people to wear face masks in shops and other confined public spaces.

The mayor of London wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson this morning, calling for an extension to the rule which requires people to wear face masks on public transport.

He said: “With lockdown easing, it’s our responsibility is to do all we can to prevent a second wave of Covid-19.

“There’s no room for complacency when lives are at risk.  

“That’s why I’m calling on the government to make face coverings mandatory in all shops and confined public spaces.”

In his letter to the PM, he wrote: “The use of face coverings will become increasingly important as lockdown restrictions are eased and as London and our nation’s recovery gets underway.”

Referring to the public transport rule brought in on Monday, he added: “We can see from the high levels of compliance already that Londoners are willing to wear them for the benefit of all.”

Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain have already made it compulsory to wear a face mask in shops.

It comes after so-called non-essential shops such as clothing retailers reopened their doors to the public on Monday.

Large queues formed outside shops such as Primark at the start of the week, as people waited for them to open.

Most people photographed wore face masks, but not all of them. This prompted concerns that not all people were taking the risk of catching or passing on the virus seriously enough.

Khan added: “Mandatory face coverings in retail outlets and other spaces where it is impossible to keep a safe social distance, sends a direct message on action they can additionally take to stay, and keep others, safe.”