Brits who refuse to wear a mask will face fines
People could be fined up to a maximum of £6,400 for repeat offences
Fines of £200 could be handed out to Brits who fail to wear masks in shops and on public transport from Tuesday November 30 as part of new government covid regulations.
On Saturday, Boris Johnson announced a raft of new measures to help limit the spread of the new Omicron variant of covid-19, which experts are concerned may be more infectious and resistant to vaccines than previous strains.
Part of these new rules is that face masks will once again become compulsory in shops and on public transport from Tuesday.
The Telegraph reports that those who refuse to wear a mask will face an initial fine of £200, with this rising to £400 for a second infraction and £800 for a third.
These fines can rise to a maximum of £6,400 if a person repeatedly breaks mask-wearing rules.
Legislation implementing the new rules is set to be tabled in the House of Commons on Monday, with the rules coming into effect on Tuesday (November 30).
Those who are fined will see their fine halved to £100 if they pay it within 14 days.
As of yet, there are no new mask-wearing rules for hospitality or entertainment venues.
The Health Secretary said the new measures were proportionate with the new threat posed by the Omicron variant.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News: "Doing it in this proportionate way where it’s for public transport, it’s for retail outlets, I think is the right level of response on masks.
"It will be via government regulation and that means, I think, that people will take it seriously."
However supermarket and public transport bosses have said it is unfair to expect staff to enforce new mask rules. The boss of supermarket chain Iceland has already said staff at their stores will not be forcing customer to wear face masks, with the Co-op also saying they won't enforce mask-wearing.
Meanwhile, Mick Lynch, the general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, said: "We support the wearing of masks but there are major issues about enforcement and it is our members left in the front line with angry passengers who refuse to comply."
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: "In light of the new Omicron variant the government has taken swift and decisive action to mandate face coverings in some settings including shops and on public transport.
"Face coverings can provide protection to those around you and can help prevent the spread of the virus."