NEW Forest West MP Sir Desmond Swayne today launched a stinging attack on the government’s new rules which will require the wearing of face masks in UK shops.
Speaking in the House of Commons today (Tuesday), the Conservative member called the decision a “monstrous imposition” after saying: “Nothing would make me less likely to go shopping than the thought of having to mask up.”
He questioned whether the government had consulted police before making the decision which officers would have to enforce “against myself and a number of outraged constituents”.
In reply, health secretary Matt Hancock said: “The balance in the need to restrict the spread whilst also allowing the ancient liberties of the gentleman to go shopping was a difficult balance to strike, and the best way to strike it was to allow the gentleman to go shopping but require him to wear a face mask.”
He added that although enforcement would be carried out by police, he envisaged the British public also playing their part.
The government formally announced today that from 24th July face masks will be mandatory for customers in shops and supermarkets.
Those who fail to comply will face fines of up to £100. Children under 11 and those with medical conditions are exempt. Retail staff are also not bound by the new rule.
Masks have been compulsory on public transport and at NHS sites since 15th June.