As well as on public transport, face coverings are now mandatory in all shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, banks, transport hubs and post offices in England. These rules also extend to indoor settings where you’re likely to come into contact with people you don’t normally meet, including cinemas, museums, galleries and places of worship. Those who have certain medical conditions, as well as children under 11 are exempt.
People who don’t wear a mask face a fine of up to £100, apart from those who are exempt. On 13 August, Boris Johnson also announced that tougher penalties would be enforced for those who repeatedly fail to wear face coverings in public places. Fines will double each time someone is found to breach the rules, up to a maximum of £3,200.
Face covering requirements also now apply to the rest of the UK. In Scotland, it’s compulsory to wear one in shops and has been on public transport since June – including the Glasgow Subway, Edinburgh trams and taxis – except for people with certain medical conditions and children under five.
In Wales, face coverings are mandatory on public transport as of 27 July, including in taxis. The Welsh Government is also advising people to wear masks in crowded places where social distancing is not possible, but this is not compulsory.
Face coverings are also compulsory on public transport in Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland, and will be mandatory in shops from 10 August.
In Scotland, secondary school students will be obliged to wear a face covering in corridors, communal areas and on buses from Monday 31 August.
From 1 September in England, staff and pupils in secondary schools in local lockdown areas like Manchester and Birmingham will be required to wear face coverings when moving around the building and in communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain, while for other parts of the country, masks will not be obligatory, but schools will have the discretion to make them mandatory in communal areas should they feel it is necessary.
Wales is currently reviewing its policy on mandatory face masks for pupils ahead of schools reopening.
As a result, many retailers and small businesses have started selling face coverings and they are now even available in supermarkets.
With some selling masks individually and others also offering multipacks, supermarkets provide an accessible way to buy a face covering before the rules change in England.
If you don’t want to buy one online, don’t have access to the Internet or are looking to get one for an older family member or neighbour, simply pick one up on your next weekly shop.
Ahead we’ve compiled all the supermarkets currently selling them. For further details on who is exempt from wearing a covering and how to wear one, read our face mask buying guide here.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
This retailer is selling multipacks of masks, with its nutmeg women’s face cover pack of five (Morrisons, £8), along with a men’s version, and packs for girls and boys. The kid’s masks cost £6 for a five-pack.
Available in an array of colours, you can switch up your choice depending on your outfit or mood, and they also have stretchy elasticated ear loops.
Visit Morrisons now
The supermarket’s clothing brand, Tu, has launched a range of face masks for adults and children (Sainsbury’s, from £10) to help you kit out the whole family. They are made from double-layered, 100 per cent cotton poplin and are available in packs of five and three.
You can choose from teal, spotty, floral and leopard print patterns or more muted grey, black and khaki styles.
Due to popular demand, the kids styles are currently out of stock online, but the adult designs are still available to shop. The supermarket confirmed that all Tu face coverings will be re-stocked stock online this week, so bookmark the page and check back for availability.
They are also available in selected stores, so keep an eye out during your next shop.
Visit Sainsbury’s now
Budget supermarket Aldi is offering a two-pack of face coverings (Aldi, £2.50) or three-pack (Aldi, £3.99) that are minimal in design but will do the job.
They’re made from double-layered cotton to cover your mouth and nose with elastic ear loops. You can also wash them up to 95C.
Currently, they’re not in stock online, but check availability in your local store using the retailer’s store finder, as they are also being sold in Aldi shops.
Visit Aldi now
The supermarket is currently selling this two pack of white washable unisex face coverings (Asda, £2.50). You’ll have a spare when one is being washed or to give to someone else.
The coverings come with elasticated straps and a structured shape to aid comfort and help it stay securely in place. They are also machine washable and quick-drying.
Currently, they are out of stock online, so we would recommend to bookmark the page and continue to check back for availability.
Visit Asda now
The supermarket is selling this reusable face mask (Iceland, £2) by Step Ahead, a brand that usually specialises in high-vis clothing.
The brand has tested it up to 30 washes, but it could last more. It’s triple-layered, and, according to brand, is fluid-repellent too.
At present, it’s out of stock, but the supermarket told us that the mask is available in many of its stores, and will be back in stock online from Monday 20 July.
Visit Iceland now
While not available online, Waitrose has started stocking a range of reusable face coverings designed by British fashion brands including Julien McDonald, Halpern and Rixo. Available in store, they cost £15 for a pack of three.
If you’d prefer to shop online, you can buy them on the John Lewis & Partners website here.
Waitrose and John Lewis & Partners will also be splitting 100 per cent of profits from the masks between three charities: NHS Charities Together, BFC Foundation Fashion Fund and children’s’ charity Wings of Hope.
Visit Waitrose now
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