PEOPLE working in shops won't have to wear masks under new legislation.

Wearing a face mask in shops and supermarkets will be made mandatory for customers across England in a fresh bid to stop the spread of coronavirus - the Government announced.

In a statement on Tuesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock will say anyone failing to comply with the order – which comes into force on July 24 – could face a fine of up to £100.

The move follows a weekend of confusion over whether ministers intended to make face coverings compulsory after Boris Johnson said they were looking at “stricter” rules.

But shop staff will not have to cover their faces under the new legislation.

Echo: Environment Secretary George Eustice

Environment Secretary George Eustice (pictured above) suggested face covering use would not be compulsory for shop staff and said the rules for shoppers would not be enforced until July 24, to give people time to prepare.

He told BBC Breakfast: “We want to give people time to plan and prepare and for retailers to maybe put in place measures to encourage people to do this or potentially even to have some masks themselves if people haven’t got one.

“Once you make something mandatory as we’re doing now for retail environments it sends a much stronger signal that people will follow in greater numbers.”

Asked if the rules will apply to supermarket staff, he said: “They’re not being covered by this but I think if you go into most shops you will see that staff for a longer time now have either been wearing face shields or face masks.

“It won’t be a compulsory requirement because it won’t always be right for every setting in a retail environment, particularly those working behind the tills and so on.”

On Sunday, the senior Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said he did not believe they should be mandatory and that it was better to “trust people’s common sense”.

However, during a visit to the London Ambulance Service on Monday, the Prime Minister offered the clearest signal he was going down the route of compulsion, saying the Government was looking at the “tools of enforcement”.