People are advised to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces where they cannot maintain a physical distance from people they would not normally meet – such as in shops – but No 10 has not made it mandatory in England, except on public transport.
Downing Street has stressed the need for people to wear face coverings properly, covering both the nose and mouth.
Asked about scientific reports calling for wider use of masks, the prime minister’s official spokesman said: “It is something which we always keep under review.
We have been very clear about the benefits of people wearing face coverings.
Face coverings should cover both nose and mouth, No 10 stresses
“Face coverings can help us protect others and reduce the spread of the virus if people are infected but not showing symptoms.”
Highlighting the correct way to wear a mask, the prime minister’s official spokesman said: “If someone has the virus, droplets can leave the nose and month and infect others when someone breathes, speaks, sneezes, laughs or coughs.
“Therefore, a face covering should cover both the nose and mouth to reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets, helping to protect others.”