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Prime minister Boris Johnson: Face mask fines to double

Prime minister Boris Johnson is to announce that maximum fines will increase to £3,200 for those who do not wear face masks in compulsory areas, including shops.

Johnson is expected to make the announcement today, along with the easing of other lockdown measures, reports The Guardian.

The opening of soft play centres, theatres and music venues from Saturday 15 August is also to be announced today. Close contact beauty services will be allowed to commence from 15 August.

Meanwhile, London mayor Sadiq Khan has written to Boris Johnson urging him to extend the business rates holiday, which ends in March 2021, saying:

"Many large retail, leisure and hospitality businesses will take important decisions for 2021/22 in the coming weeks, so certainty over the business rates holiday is urgently needed. "

Khan has also suggested that face coverings be made mandatory in the the busiest areas of the capital to increase consumer confidence.

Data from the New West End Company has reported that it will lose £5bn in retail sales in 2020, footfall is down 63% year-on-year and it's estimated that there could be 50,000 job losses in retail and hospitality by the end of this year.

Drapers has approached the government for comment.

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