A surge in demand has seen face coverings become Co-op's fastest selling items across all stores, now outselling everyday essentials such as milk.

Face masks have become a larger part of day-to-day life than anyone would have expected, and as of Monday, June 15, the requirement to wear then have now become mandatory on public transport and in hospitals.

As per the latest guidance, extra police officers have been deployed and passengers caught not complying with the regulations risk being fined £100 and removed from services.

Co-op say that following the latest government advice on the use of face coverings, their range has seen a surge in demand, and is now outselling milk, eggs and bread in its store.

The convenience retailer sells £3 non-medical face coverings in all of its stores, and says it has secured millions of items of stock to meet demand.

Co-op even promised that face masks would shortly be available on delivery across selected Co-op stores on Deliveroo.

Joseph Turner, Co-op Buying Manager, said: “As a community retailer with a store in every postal area, this move ensures our customers and members can get access to face coverings easily.

"We know it’s important to reserve valuable PPE for health and care workers so these are not suitable for medical use but have been designed with customers in mind and are just one way we can be careful, along with social distancing and washing our hands.

"Following the demand, we have secured more stock to ensure we can continue to serve the nation.”

The retailer is currently selling a 5-pack Disposable Non-Medical Face Covering, and a Re-useable Non-Medical Face Covering, for £3 each. The Re-useable Non-Medical Face Covering is antibacterial, water repellent and can be washed for up to 20 times.

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More than 3,000 additional staff from British Transport Police, Network Rail, train operators and Transport for London (TfL) will be deployed at major stations and transport hubs to ensure the new rules are being followed.

Hundreds of thousands of face coverings will be handed out free of charge to passengers at railway stations across the country over the coming days.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said remembering to travel with face coverings should become part of people's daily routine as part of efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Those with certain health conditions, disabled people and children aged under 11 do not have to wear one.

The regulations fall under the Public Health Act 1984 and make face coverings mandatory on buses, coaches, trams, ferries, aircraft and trains in England.

The UK Government says they are "marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure", and states that evidence suggests face coverings do not protect the wearer, but may protect other people if he or she is infected.