Face masks became mandatory in stores on Friday in England

On the first day when the number of customers decreased, it became mandatory to wear masks in public places such as shops, supermarkets and takeaways.

People seemed a little more cautious, according to retail data.

It showed that the number of shoppers declined 0.2% on Friday compared to the previous Friday, following a week of relatively constant increases in traffic to shops and supermarkets.

Friday was the first day that shoppers in England had been legally forced to wear face cover or risk a fine.

Anyone who violates the rules without exemption risks a £ 100 fine – reduced to £ 50 if paid quickly.

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Data from the retail intelligence firm Springboard revealed the drop in steps in England compared to the modest growth in buyers elsewhere in the UK, where several face coatings regulations are in place.

Shoppers wear face masks on Oxford Street in London on July 24th (Photo: Getty)
People queuing in a shop in London (Photo: AP)
The goal is to stop the spread of the coronavirus (Picture: Getty)

Traffic to stores rose 5.9% in Scotland, 2% in Northern Ireland and 1.7% in Wales on Friday.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard’s director of marketing and insights, said: “It appears that on the first day of mandatory use of masks in closed shops and destinations in England buyers were wary of making trips.”

But he added: “The trampling could strengthen in the days and weeks following when consumers get used to wearing masks.”

Encouraging to other retailers, Scotland – the country with the strongest growth – made face coverage mandatory in stores on July 10th.

Face masks are recommended in Wales in situations “where social distancing is not possible” but are not yet mandatory in stores.

They will become mandatory on Welsh public transport networks starting Monday.

Northern Ireland made face coatings mandatory on public transport on 10 July and may even become legally necessary in stores if the public does not voluntarily adopt them in significant numbers.

Despite slackening of blocking measures, Friday’s drop in retail sales was still down between 36% and 41% across the UK compared to the same period last year.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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