WARRINGTON Guardian readers have been reacting to the news that wearing face coverings in shops and supermarkets is to be compulsory in England.

The announcement was made last night, Monday, and will be coming into force on July 24.

Anyone failing to comply with the order could face a fine of up to £100, but children under 11 and those with certain disabilities are exempt.

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Despite many readers saying the decision has come 'too little too late', many Warrington residents are supporting the wearing of face coverings.

"I don't get how people are saying it's too late," said Nicola Louise.

"You didn't need to wear one at first because it was only essentials you needed to go out for during lockdown.

"More and more are venturing out and the shielded are coming back out, so it's a measure implemented now to avoid another lockdown.

"Stop whining and wear one or don't go out.

"I've worn one in work constantly and no, it's not nice but I'm protecting you, why wouldn't you want to protect everyone else?"

Michelle Williams added: "I go into shops as little as possible but when I do, I wear a mask.

"If it reduces the risk of potentially passing Covid or any other airborne illness to others then it's worth doing.

"This should have been brought in at the start though."

However, some readers say the order will not be effective unless people use coverings correctly.

"It will only work if people wear them properly as they should be," explained Rachel Wolfenden Dennis.

"So many have them half way down their face or they remove them when answering the phone or touch items then their face and mask.

"It will only work if people are shown how to wear them correctly."

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Tracy Williams added: "If it’s compulsory then they should be provided by the shops as you enter.

"People will not do this and it will just finish off the town centres for good."

Meanwhile, other readers are still looking for consistency from the Government, as face masks are not required in all public settings.

Ian Bennett said: "You can go to a pub or a gym, workplace - all these places you aren't required to wear a mask.

"I'm not against the decision but have some consistency."

Jill Bruce added: "It doesn’t make sense.

"On public transport yes, as you sit in a small closed area with others.

"But in shops - most supermarkets have been fine - they are large spaces and easy to socially distance and small shops you go in one at a time.

"However, you can sit in a pub or restaurant for a couple of hours without one!"

In the early days of the pandemic, ministers and the Government’s scientific advisers repeatedly played down the value of face coverings, saying the evidence on the benefits was thin.

However, speaking during his visit to the London Ambulance Service, Boris Johnson said he was now keen to make progress on the issue.

"As the virus comes down in incidence and we have more and more success, I think face coverings are a kind of extra insurance we can all use to stop it coming back and stop it getting out of control again," he said.