Coronavirus: PM urges people to go back to work as he backs more facemask use

In a shift in COVID-19 policy, the PM says the government needs to be stricter on insisting people wear masks in confined spaces.

Boris Johnson has served notice that tougher rules on wearing face masks could be on the way, as he appealed to people working from home to go back to work.

In a significant shift in COVID-19 policy, the prime minister said the government now needs to be stricter on insisting people wear masks in confined spaces such as shops.

Mr Johnson was himself seen wearing a covering - a bright blue number - for the first time on Friday, while he visited shops and takeaways in his constituency of Uxbridge.

He also said he wants people to now go back to work if they can, to try to lead their lives more normally and feel confident to use shops and restaurants, while following official guidance.

Boris Johnson dons a face mask (Pic: @BorisJohnson)

The prime minister's apparent double U-turn came as he answered questions from members of the public in a pre-recorded online "People's PMQs" from 10 Downing Street, lasting 40 minutes.

His comments on face masks came in response to a question about a World Health Organisation warning on coronavirus transmission and whether they should be mandatory in all places outside homes.

Mr Johnson replied: "As we get the numbers down in the way that we have and we really stamp out outbreaks in the way that we are, I do think we need to be stricter in insisting people wear face coverings in confined spaces where they are meeting people they don't normally meet.

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