5G rollout delayed by two to three years. Now get it banned completely.


They’re already mandatory on public transport, soon people will be forced to wear them in shops but it seems the Government is preparing to go even further.

Masks could soon be recommended in all public places, including offices and workplaces.

Officials have begun private talks with employers and are considering recommending them as fears turn to a second wave of coronavirus in the autumn.

This morning Matt Hancock insisted the Government will not force workers to wear face coverings in offices.

“If you’re in a space with the same people repeatedly and for long periods of time, whether an office or a classroom, then the mask doesn’t actually protect you,” he said.

But other countries have made masks mandatory in public spaces. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has announced that they will soon become compulsory in all indoor public places in France.

And Spain’s autonomous region of Catalonia has made face masks mandatory in public after a surge in new cases of Covid-19.

The move to make coverings mandatory in shops was confirmed by Mr Hancock yesterday and will officially come into force on July 24.

But as the Health Secretary made the announcement in the Commons yesterday, a backlash against the move began from inside his own party.

Sir Desmond Swayne led the revolt, saying masks were a “monstrous imposition” on shoppers.

The culture war swept across social media too, with Conservative members seemingly cutting up their membership cards in protest.

Given the uproar, it’s perhaps all the more worrying for the Government that police chiefs have raised concerns about how the wearing of mandatory masks will be enforced.

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said: “It will be nigh-on impossible for enforcement because you won’t have a police officer on every shop door because there aren’t enough of us.”

– Capital gains –

After spending an eye-watering £188 billion on tackling coronavirus, Rishi Sunak was always going to have to claw back the money somehow.

Now, it seems that he could have capital gains tax (CGT) in his sights.

The Chancellor has asked the Office of Tax Simplification to consider how exemptions from the levy could be reformed or scrapped, prompting fears of a raid on the wealthy to help pay for the cost of coronavirus.

Such reforms could include reducing tax relief on rental income from a taxpayer’s former home, or altering tax rates on the sale of shares.

Experts said that the Chancellor could be considering raising its historically low rates in line with income tax, which could bring in £90 billion over five years.

CGT brings in around £9 billion a year for the Exchequer, a little more than one per cent of all tax receipts, and is paid by individuals on the profits made from the sale of assets.

A Treasury source insisted there is “absolutely no expectation” the review will result in a policy change.

– We can go our own Huawei –

Ministers yesterday announced Huawei will be banned from the UK’s 5G network with all of the firm’s technology to be ripped out by 2027.

But the date of removal is a cause for concern among Tory rebels, who vowed “the fight is back on”.

The backbenchers plan to table a series of amendments when legislation comes to Parliament in the autumn to try to force further concessions.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told MPs the US’s decision to impose sanctions against Huawei in May led to a “significant material change” since Boris Johnson gave the telecoms giant the green light in January.

He said the ban could delay the rollout of the high-speed network by two to three years and add £2billion to the overall cost of delivering the network.