In response to the new guidance on face coverings in shops Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “From 24 July we will all be expected to wear face coverings in shops in England, a move which has already been taken by Scotland and Wales – as well as by Governments in Germany, France and Spain.

“This is an important step if we are to avoid a second wave of Covid-19. We cannot afford to let the sacrifices we’ve made over the last few months go to waste. The situation in South Yorkshire remains precarious, with the real threat of an increase in cases in our region in the coming weeks.

“In April, I called on the Government to protect workers, and this still stands. I am joining trade unions and Chambers of Commerce in asking the Government for clear guidance for retailers to ensure both staff and customers are kept safe as we open up the economy: there must be no more mixed messages.

“Retailers must also be given the tools and confidence needed to manage customers as these new rules come into force. They have made great sacrifices and helped keep us safe throughout this pandemic, and I urge retailers to continue to follow the necessary guidelines.

“As individuals we all have a responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe. The public, on the whole, have been following the rules. From staying at home to social distancing, by adhering to guidance we have helped to stall the spread of this virus.If we do not continue doing so, that progress will be lost.

“Metro Mayors have a responsibility to both residents and businesses during this crisis. But if we are to do our job and serve our communities, regional and local leaders need more from Government in terms of intelligence and decision-making powers.

“We know that Coronavirus is not affecting all areas of the country equally, and in South Yorkshire especially, cases are not falling as quickly as we would like them to. It is therefore essential that people remain vigilant and act responsibly. Stick to social distancing rules, wear face coverings and get tested and self-isolate if you show symptoms.”