Wearing a face mask or covering inside shops is set to become mandatory in England from Friday, 24 July.
Those who fail to comply with the rule could face fines of up to £100.
Announcing the new rule, a No 10 spokesman said: "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 24 July."
The new rule sees England following countries such as Scotland, Italy, Spain and Greece, where it is also mandatory to wear face coverings in public spaces.
The move from the government comes after days of mixed messages about whether it is necessary to cover the face in public settings to protect against coronavirus. Michael Gove recently said in an interview that he does not believe masks should be mandatory in shops, while Rishi Sunak was pictured serving food to customers in a restaurant without a mask.
However, in his most recent statement on face coverings, made before the official confirmation by Number 10, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "I think that as throughout this crisis people have shown amazing sensitivity towards other people and understanding of the needs to get the virus down by doing things cooperatively.
"I think wearing masks is one of them. In a confined space what you're doing is you're protecting other people from the transmission that you might be giving to other people.
"And they in turn they're are protecting you. It's a mutual thing. People do see the value of it."
Evidence that masks can effectively hinder transmission of the virus to others around you has been mounting in recent weeks, following research by scientists worldwide.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to set out the new guidance on face coverings on Tuesday, but it is believed that children under 11 and people with certain disabilities will be exempt, as they are on public transport.
The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
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