Boris Johnson has urged the public to wear face coverings in shops, and said an announcement on whether their use will be compulsory in England will be made in the coming days.

The Prime Minister said that ministers are considering what “tools of enforcement” could be employed as he described the evidence to support their use to slow the spread of coronavirus as “growing”.

Downing Street said on Monday that a formal review was under way after the Government faced calls for clarity on the subject.

Stricter measures for shoppers in England could bring the nation into line with Scotland, where First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made their use compulsory in shops as of Friday.

The PM told reporters during a visit to the London Ambulance Service that coverings “have a great deal of value in confined spaces” where people are coming into contact with those they do not normally meet.

Watford Observer:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson talks with paramedic Cindy Fu during a visit to the headquarters of the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Photo: Ben Stansall/PA

“Yes face coverings, I think people should be wearing in shops – and in terms of how we do that, whether we will be making that mandatory or not we will be looking at the guidance, we will be saying a little bit more in the next few days,” he said.

“We will be looking in the next few days about exactly how, with what tools of enforcement, we think we want to make progress.

“As the virus comes down in incidence and we have more and more success, I think face coverings are a kind of extra insurance we can all use to stop it coming back and stop it getting out of control again.”