As of 24 July it will be mandatory to wear face coverings in supermarkets and shops.
Those who fail to follow new rules could be forced to pay a fine of up to £100, which may be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.
This comes as part of a move to help stop the second wave of coronavirus.
It has been compulsory for people to wear face masks on public transport since 15 June and since then were also advised to wear masks in enclosed public spaces.
The law will require everyone to wear cloth face coverings, rather than medical grade masks used by NHS workers.
However according to Gov.uk face coverings should not be worn by children under the age of three or by those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly, for example primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions.
A Downing Street spokesman says: “There is growing evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from coronavirus.
“The Prime Minister has been clear that people should be wearing face coverings in shops and we will make this mandatory from July 24.”
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth also criticised the government for the length of time it took for these regulations to be put in place, saying: “The Government has been slow and muddled again over face coverings.”
A post on Gov.uk says: “A cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.
“Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and after taking it off and after use. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them.
“You should wash a face covering regularly. It can go in with other laundry, using your normal detergent.”
Gov also shared a simple DIY face covering method, and all you need is a t-shirt.
T-shirt face covering
Step 1: Cut a straight line across the width of the T-shirt (front and back) approximately 20cm from the bottom of the T-shirt.
Step 2: From a point 2cm below the top right-hand corner of the fabric, make a 15cm horizontal cut through both sides of the fabric that is parallel to the top of the rectangle.
Step 3: Cut down towards the bottom of the fabric until you reach approximately 2cm above the bottom edge. From here, make another 15cm cut that runs parallel to the bottom of the fabric to make a rectangle that can be discarded.
Step 4: To make the ties, cut open the edge of the 2 long strips of fabric. Unfold the main piece of fabric and place over the mouth and the nose.
The 4 strips act as ties to hold the cloth face covering in place and should be tied behind the head and around the neck.
And if you have some basic sewing skills under your belt, you could give this one a go.
Sewn cloth face covering
You will need:
- Two 25cm x 25cm squares of cotton fabric
- Two 20cm pieces of elastic (or string or cloth strips)
- Needle and thread
- Sewing machine is optional
Step 1: Cut out two 25cm x 25cm squares of cotton fabric. Stack the 2 squares on top of each other.
Step 2: Fold over one side by 0.75cm and hem, then repeat on the opposite side. Make 2 channels by folding the double layer of fabric over 1.5cm along each side and stitching this down.
Step 3: Run a 20cm length of elastic (or string or cloth strip) through the wider hem on each side of the face covering. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle to thread it through. Tie the ends tightly.
If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the covering behind your head.
Step 4: Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the covering on the elastic and adjust so the covering fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping. These elastic loops fit over the ears.