News Shopper readers have given their views on whether they will continue to wear face masks after July 19.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday announced he would ease social distancing restrictions.

The so-called “freedom day” is expected on July 19, with a decision on whether or not to go ahead being taken a week earlier.

The Prime Minister told a Downing Street press conference: “And we must be honest with ourselves that if we can’t reopen our society in the next few weeks, when we will be helped by the arrival of summer, and by the school holidays, then we must ask ourselves ‘when will we be able to return to normal?’

News Shopper: Boris Johnson said 'Freedom Day' would go ahead on July 19th. After this date, face masks will no longer be mandatory Boris Johnson said 'Freedom Day' would go ahead on July 19th. After this date, face masks will no longer be mandatory

“And to those who say we should delay again – the alternative to that is to open up in winter when the virus will have an advantage, or not at all this year.”

Boris Johnson told the public they are set to no longer be legally required to wear masks from July 19, despite his chief medical advisor suggesting that face coverings should be worn as a “common courtesy”. 

So we asked you if you would still wear a mask after July 19.

While some said they did not intend to wear masks after July 19, others said they would continue to do so even if they were no longer a legal requirement in shops, and in certain areas of pubs and restaurants.

Here are some of your responses...

Do I need to wear a face mask anywhere?

Under the rule changes, permission will be handed to transport operators and shops to decide their own policy on the issue, setting conditions for their own premises while remaining mindful of equality law.

The new system was criticised for creating a patchwork of different rules in different settings, which some said would be confusing for the public.

Some supermarkets have said they would encourage masks for shoppers, but would not turn away people who refused to wear them.

Sir Keir, the Labour leader, said the legal requirement should be maintained.

“To throw off all protections at the same time when the infection rate is still going up is reckless,” he said.

News Shopper: Face masks were introduced at the start of the Covid pandemicFace masks were introduced at the start of the Covid pandemic

Mr Johnson confirmed he would wear a mask in some settings, but signalled he would use his discretion, contrasting a crowded commuter tube with an empty train carriage late at night.

"We want people to exercise their personal responsibility but remember the value of face coverings both in protecting themselves and others,” he said.

Professor Whitty said he would wear a mask in three scenarios: if in a crowded space near others, if asked to be a competent authority, or if someone else was uncomfortable about him not wearing a face covering as a “point of common courtesy”.

It is understood that the Government has not conducted specific modelling on how many people are expected to continue to wear masks once the requirement is lifted.

  • Do you agree? Will you wear a mask? Let us know in the comments.