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London Mayor Sadiq Khan predicts facemasks will become the ‘new normal’ for a YEAR

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan said facemasks will be the ‘new normal’ for commuters in the capital for at least a year.

Protective face coverings are compulsory on public transport across England in a bid to keep coronavirus infection rates low and avoid a second wave of the deadly virus. 

Free masks were handed out in their thousands on buses and trains in attempt to kick start the new laws on Monday as 3,000 more police took to the streets looking out for rule-breakers.

Those who don’t wear masks will face £100 penalty fines but confusion still reigned about how the regulations – followed by 90 per cent of Londoners on Monday – will be enforced, The Daily Telegraph reports.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said facemasks will be the 'new normal' for commuters for at least a year

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said facemasks will be the 'new normal' for commuters for at least a year

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said facemasks will be the ‘new normal’ for commuters for at least a year

Protective face coverings are compulsory on public transport across England in a bid to keep coronavirus infection rates low and avoid a second wave of the deadly virus (stock image)

Protective face coverings are compulsory on public transport across England in a bid to keep coronavirus infection rates low and avoid a second wave of the deadly virus (stock image)

Protective face coverings are compulsory on public transport across England in a bid to keep coronavirus infection rates low and avoid a second wave of the deadly virus (stock image)

Sadiq Khan told LBC: ‘This is part of the new normal. The reality is that for the foreseeable future – I predict for the next year or so – wearing face coverings is going to become the norm rather than the exception.’

Confederation of Passenger Transport Executive Graham Vidler told the BBC that those who are unable to wear masks due to a disability will be able to signal to a driver or conductor using a ‘journey assistance card’.

He said: ‘If passengers aren’t following the guidelines then other passengers might have difficulties with that and issues might arise.

‘That’s another reason we are encouraging people to use journey assistance cards to indicate that they have a valid reason for not wearing a face covering. 

‘Ultimately though we continue to be dependent on the good sense and public spiritedness of our passengers.’

Those who don't wear masks will face £100 penalty fines but confusion still reigned about how the regulations - followed by 90 per cent of Londoners on Monday - will be enforced (stock image)

Those who don't wear masks will face £100 penalty fines but confusion still reigned about how the regulations - followed by 90 per cent of Londoners on Monday - will be enforced (stock image)

Those who don’t wear masks will face £100 penalty fines but confusion still reigned about how the regulations – followed by 90 per cent of Londoners on Monday – will be enforced (stock image)

Sadiq Khan told LBC: 'This is part of the new normal. The reality is that for the foreseeable future - I predict for the next year or so - wearing face coverings is going to become the norm rather than the exception.' Pictured: Passengers wearing masks on the Tube

Sadiq Khan told LBC: 'This is part of the new normal. The reality is that for the foreseeable future - I predict for the next year or so - wearing face coverings is going to become the norm rather than the exception.' Pictured: Passengers wearing masks on the Tube

Sadiq Khan told LBC: ‘This is part of the new normal. The reality is that for the foreseeable future – I predict for the next year or so – wearing face coverings is going to become the norm rather than the exception.’ Pictured: Passengers wearing masks on the Tube

Commuters wear face masks as they pass through Vauxhall underground station on the first day of their mandatory use

Commuters wear face masks as they pass through Vauxhall underground station on the first day of their mandatory use

Commuters wear face masks as they pass through Vauxhall underground station on the first day of their mandatory use

BRIGHTON: Shoppers queue outside a Sports Direct store on Monday as non-essential shops open for the first time in three months

BRIGHTON: Shoppers queue outside a Sports Direct store on Monday as non-essential shops open for the first time in three months

BRIGHTON: Shoppers queue outside a Sports Direct store on Monday as non-essential shops open for the first time in three months

LONDON: Others sat on the floor outside a Sports Direct on Oxford Street as they waited to enter the store

LONDON: Others sat on the floor outside a Sports Direct on Oxford Street as they waited to enter the store

LONDON: Others sat on the floor outside a Sports Direct on Oxford Street as they waited to enter the store

NEWCASTLE: Shoppers on Northumberland Street, Newcastle, as non-essential shops in England open their doors on Monday

NEWCASTLE: Shoppers on Northumberland Street, Newcastle, as non-essential shops in England open their doors on Monday

NEWCASTLE: Shoppers on Northumberland Street, Newcastle, as non-essential shops in England open their doors on Monday

The first day of the new rules coincided with non-essential shops reopening across the country.  

Tens of thousands of eager shoppers hit the high street on Monday where they faced mile-long queues and two hour waits with footfall up 51.7 per cent in a week.

Retail analysts Springboard also said the number of people visiting retail parks and shopping centres in England was up by 41.7 per cent compared to last Monday. However, with many shoppers still worried about going out, it was still down a third on the same day last year.

Although footfall has increased more than 50 per cent in a week, a significant proportion of outlets in retails parks and shopping centres were not open at all last week.

Younger shoppers were out in force queuing overnight or arriving at dawn in some cases just to be first in line when Primark and trainer shops such as JD Sports and Footlocker opened.

But older shoppers appear to have stayed away with more traditional high street stores such as M&S quieter while John Lewis said that items such as egg cups, china sets, towels and pillow cases were flying off the shelves as were more expensive items such as TVs and sofas.

DailyMail Online


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