THE legal requirement to wear face coverings in shops, cafes and restaurants has ended in England, but shoppers appeared to still be doing so in Hereford today.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged caution ahead of stage four of the roadmap out of lockdown, which saw most legal restrictions end in England on Monday.

But along with shoppers across the UK saying they would continue to wear masks, shops themselves have also asked customers to carry on doing so.

Tesco, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons and Waitrose have became the latest retailers to say they would encourage customers and shop workers to continue wearing masks in their supermarkets from July 19.

It was after the Government published guidance for businesses which said it "expects and recommends" masks to be worn by workers and customers in crowded, enclosed spaces as the work from home order ends.

Tesco said it would leave a raft of virus curbs, such as distancing measures, in place across its shops, and Sainsbury's would encourage all shoppers to wear masks after "freedom day".

Asda said it would have signage and announcements to encourage customers to follow Government guidance and would continue to provide face coverings in shops for people who wish to use them.

Staff and customers at Waitrose and John Lewis have also been recommended to continue wearing masks but said it will ultimately be up to individual judgment.

Locally, the Beefy Boys in the Old Market Shopping Centre said while it was delighted to see restrictions ease and the country head back to some form of normality, it recognised not everyone felt ready or safe for that yet.

It said it had made the decision that staff would keep wearing masks, and although it was down to personal choice, they would "love it" if all diners did the same.

"We’ll also be keeping up with sanitising hands on arrival, screens between most of our tables and our regular enhanced cleaning procedures," the restaurant said.

"Sadly the country isn’t out of the woods yet but we will be doing our best to keep our staff and customers as safe as possible as we move on to the next stage of restrictions."

The Corners Inn in Kingsland said that in the interests of maintaining a safe environment for both customers and staff, measures such as table service only, social distancing and perspex screens would remain in place.

It also said it would "strongly recommend" visitors carry on wearing masks to protect everyone, especially the vulnerable who could find the changes more difficult.

In Hereford on Monday, most shoppers appeared to be wearing masks inside shops, with two-thirds of adults in Great Britain saying they still planned to cover their faces in shops, following the lifting of most coronavirus legal restrictions in England from July 19, according to new data.

The same percentage – 64 per cent – planned to wear masks on public transport, while 60 per cent planned to avoid crowded places, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Statistics from the ONS’s weekly Opinions and Lifestyle Survey also found nine out of 10 adults believe continuing to wear face coverings is important for slowing the spread of Covid-19, whilst 88 per cent said social distancing from those not in their household remained key.