Northern Ireland news

Face coverings in shops should be mandatory, says Robin Swann

 Health Minister Robin Swann is to recommend to the Northern Ireland Executive that the wearing of face coverings in shops in the region becomes mandatory. Picture from Jane Barlow, Press Association

Health Minister Robin Swann is to recommend to the Executive that the wearing of face coverings in shops becomes mandatory.

He said the move was supported by the chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser. It comes as nine further cases of coronavirus were confirmed. Read more

"I have no wish to pre-empt Executive decisions, but I am firmly of the view that everything possible must be done to encourage the wearing of face coverings in retail stores and other indoor spaces where people are not eating, drinking or exercising," he said.

"The chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser agree.

"It is also the case that making it mandatory would provide clarity and reassurance for members of the public.

"We need to promote every available measure to stop the spread of Covid-19, both now and into the autumn and winter, given the risk of further waves of infection. Wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces will have to become second nature if we are to keep each other safe.

"I am also very mindful that shielding is due to be paused from July 31. People who have been shielding will need our support as they resume everyday activities. Wearing face coverings in shops and indoor spaces is an important way to show solidarity with them."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news