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The UK government is not considering making the wearing of face masks compulsory in offices and workplaces, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

It comes as France ruled that coverings must be worn in most workplaces following a surge in coronavirus cases.

"We constantly look at the scientific advice and the answer here is that we are not currently considering doing that," said Mr Hancock.

Face coverings are currently required in some indoor settings in the UK.

For example, they are compulsory for customers in shops in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland – but not for staff.

They are also required for anyone travelling on public transport anywhere in the UK.

Earlier this week, France announced that from 1 September masks would be compulsory in all shared spaces in offices and factories where there is more than one worker present.

Masks are also compulsory in some busy outdoor areas in Paris and other French cities.

'Low numbers catch virus at work'

Asked on BBC Breakfast whether the UK would follow France and introduce masks in workplaces, Mr Hancock said it was not being considered.

"And the reason is that the evidence from NHS Test and Trace for where people catch the disease is that, very largely, they catch it from one household meeting another household, usually in one of their homes.

"And so it's that household transmission that is the core root of passing on this virus in this country.

"The amount of people who have caught it in workplaces is relatively low, we think, from the evidence we've got."

There is currently no universal rule for workers to wear face masks at work in the UK. However, the government has set out guidance for particular industries.

For example, hairdressers and beauticians are advised to cover their faces because it's harder to socially distance with the public.

Staff that work in shops or other indoor settings do not have to wear face coverings – although the government suggests businesses "consider their use where appropriate".

From the start of August, the government changed its guidance about work, no longer ordering people to work from home where they can.

It is now up to employers to decide whether staff can return to the workplace – as long as it is safe to do so.

Previous restrictions on the use of public transport in England have also been removed, meaning anyone can now use it.

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Over the past few months, there have been outbreaks among workers at meat processing plants as well as factories.

Most recently, there has Read More – Source

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