Face coverings will be compulsory in shops in England from Friday to stop the spread of coronavirus.
But they are still not mandatory in cafes, pubs and restaurants, which has led to confusion over where the new rule applies in relation to buying food.
Does a takeaway, for example, count as a shop or a restaurant? And what about fast food outlets that offer both dine-in and takeaway service?
The government has been accused of sending mixed messages with conflicting advice and examples from ministers – for example Michael Gove deciding not to wear a mask in Pret but the chancellor doing so.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said on Thursday there had been “some confusion” and “greater clarity” is needed.
But he added: “I think it’s very important as leader of the opposition that I say clearly we must follow the government’s advice.
“It’s very important that where the advice is to wear the mask we should all do it.”
Speaking on Sky News’ Kay [email protected] show, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis confirmed masks must be worn when visiting sandwich shops if taking away.
“If you are going into Pret a Manger, and you are eating in Pret a Manger, which in some of their stores you can, then obviously you wouldn’t be wearing a face mask because you’re eating.
“But it’s clear, good common sense that if you are going in to buy a takeaway and you’re leaving again, you’re treating it like a shop and you should be wearing a face mask”, he said.
The clarification means that takeaways and coffee shops with indoor seating will be classed as shops, not restaurants.
Therefore, masks will be mandatory within them from tomorrow.
Buying food from a counter and then sitting down to eat inside will be banned, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The newspaper also reports that premises with table service will be exempt from the new rules but customers who dine-in must sit down straight away.
It means that in some food outlets, there will be differing rules depending on your reason for visiting.
In McDonald’s, for example, anyone who sits down to eat will not have to wear a mask. But anyone who orders takeaway from the counter will.
Those who fail to wear a mask could be fined up to £100 – brought down to £50 if paid within fortnight.
Children under 11 and those with disabilities are exempt.
But it remains unclear how strictly the new law will be enforced.
Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has already said they will not challenge customers who enter their stores without a mask.
Head of the Metropolitan Police Cressida Dick has said officers should only be called for someone failing to wear a face covering as “a last resort”.
And police and crime commissioners for Thames Valley, Devon and Cornwall have said their officers will not attend incidents where shoppers refuse to wear masks, unless they turn violent.
Wearing face coverings in shops is already mandatory in Scotland.