Britain requires masks at indoor places

LONDON (AP) — People in Britain are now required to wear masks in most indoor settings as the country tries to squash a rise in coronavirus infections that has followed the easing of lockdown measures.

England and Scotland now require face coverings in most indoor spaces, including places of worship, museums, cinemas, banks and libraries. They were already mandatory in shops and on public transit.

A swath of northern England has been put under tougher restrictions that bar households from mixing, after a surge in infections that authorities blame partly on people meeting up in homes and restaurants.

Britain’s official coronavirus death toll stands at more than 46,500, the highest in Europe.

The Office for National Statistics said the number of people testing positive for the virus has risen since the end of June — just after the country began to ease its lockdown — but may have levelled off.

It estimated there were 3,700 new infections a day in the community in England in the week to August 2, down from 4,200 a day the week before.

File photo shows a sign requesting people stay two metres apart to curb the spread of COVID-19 displayed in London. PHOTO: AP