As of 24 July, face coverings are now mandatory in all shops and supermarkets in England. These rules will also extend to banks, post offices and indoor shopping centres. People who don’t wear one will face a fine of up to £100, but those who have certain medical conditions are exempt, as well as children under 11.
It has abeen mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport in England since 15 June, with the same exemptions applying, including for anyone who is travelling with someone who lip-reads.
If you’re picking up a takeaway coffee or food in England, you’ll also have to wear a mask, but this rule doesn’t apply to sit-in meals. The Northern Ireland secretary, Brandon Lewis, confirmed: “If you’re going in to buy a takeaway, and leaving again, you’re treating it like a shop – and you should be wearing a face mask.”
Face mask requirements also now apply to the rest of the UK. In Scotland, it’s compulsory to wear one in shops and has been on public transport since June – including the Glasgow Subway, Edinburgh trams and taxis – except for people with certain medical conditions and children under five.
In Wales, face coverings will be mandatory on public transport from 27 July, including in taxis. The Welsh Government is also advising people to wear masks in crowded places where social distancing is not possible, but this is not compulsory. Face coverings are also compulsory on public transport in Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland.
As a result, many retailers and small businesses have started selling face coverings and they are now even available in supermarkets.
With some selling masks individually and others also offering multipacks, supermarkets provide an accessible way to buy a face covering before the rules change in England.
If you don’t want to buy one online, don’t have access to the Internet or are looking to get one for an older family member or neighbour, simply pick one up on your next weekly shop.
Ahead we’ve compiled all the supermarkets currently selling them. For further details on who is exempt from wearing a covering and how to wear one, read our face mask buying guide here.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
This retailer is selling multipacks of masks, with its nutmeg women’s face cover pack of five (Morrisons, £8), along with a men’s version, and packs for girls and boys. The kid’s masks cost £6 for a five-pack.
Available in an array of colours, you can switch up your choice depending on your outfit or mood, and they also have stretchy elasticated ear loops.
You’ll find this five pack of reusable adult face coverings (M&S, £7.50) from M&S, made from 2-ply, antibacterial, 100 per cent cotton.
Like most face coverings, the ear loops are made from elastic for added comfort.
The supermarket’s clothing brand, Tu, has launched a range of face masks for adults and children (Sainsbury’s, from £10) to help you kit out the whole family. They are made from double-layered, 100 per cent cotton poplin and are available in packs of five and three.
You can choose from teal, spotty, floral and leopard print patterns or more muted grey, black and khaki styles.
Due to popular demand, the kids styles are currently out of stock online, but the adult designs are still available to shop. The supermarket confirmed that all Tu face coverings will be re-stocked stock online this week, so bookmark the page and check back for availability.
They are also available in selected stores, so keep an eye out during your next shop.
They’re made from double-layered cotton to cover your mouth and nose with elastic ear loops. You can also wash them up to 95C.
Currently, they’re not in stock online, but check availability in your local store using the retailer’s store finder, as they are also being sold in Aldi shops.
The supermarket is currently selling this two pack of white washable unisex face coverings (Asda, £2.50). You’ll have a spare when one is being washed or to give to someone else.
The coverings come with elasticated straps and a structured shape to aid comfort and help it stay securely in place. They are also machine washable and quick-drying.
Currently, they are out of stock online, so we would recommend to bookmark the page and continue to check back for availability.
The supermarket is selling this reusable face mask (Iceland, £2) by Step Ahead, a brand that usually specialises in high-vis clothing.
The brand has tested it up to 30 washes, but it could last more. It’s triple-layered, and, according to brand, is fluid-repellent too.
At present, it’s out of stock, but the supermarket told us that the mask is available in many of its stores, and will be back in stock online from Monday 20 July.
While not available online, Waitrose has started stocking a range of reusable face coverings designed by British fashion brands including Julien McDonald, Halpern and Rixo. Available in store, they cost £15 for a pack of three.
If you’d prefer to shop online, you can buy them on the John Lewis & Partners website here.
Waitrose and John Lewis & Partners will also be splitting 100 per cent of profits from the masks between three charities: NHS Charities Together, BFC Foundation Fashion Fund and children’s’ charity Wings of Hope.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.