Face mask use surges after becoming compulsory in shops

Matthew SmithLead data journalist
July 27, 2020, 4:03 PM UTC

Most Britons are now wearing a mask

Following rules coming into force on Friday that mean all Britons must now wear face masks in shops, the proportion of Britons donning a facial covering has shot up.

On July 12 only 38% of Britons reported having worn a face mask in the previous fortnight. As of this weekend that figure has surged by almost 20 percentage points to 57%.

 

Previous rule changes in mid-June making it mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport had a much more modest effect, with the number increasing from 21% to only 27% in the surveys before and after the rules changed.

Nevertheless, Britons are still less likely to wear face protection than people in most other countries YouGov has been surveying. In Germany two thirds are wearing face masks (66%), as are 74% of Americans, 83% of French people, 84% of Italians and 88% of Spaniards.