The Government has advised people to wear face masks in shops and on public transport during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new advice comes as the Government published its "road map" to easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

People have also been advised to stand side-by-side, rather than face on, to avoid being directly exposed to someone talking or coughing. And the Government has clarified that families will be allowed to drive to parks and open spaces for their unlimited exercise.

Here are your questions answered about the use of coverings and masks.

What has the Government said?

People should wear face coverings when they are in “an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet”, for instance in some shops or on public transport.

Why is it recommending face coverings?

The Government document states that while wearing a face covering does not protect the wearer, it may protect others if people are infected but have not yet developed symptoms.

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Non-essential retail could return in June. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA

Who should wear one?

Experts have previously suggested that in order for the use of masks to be an effective tool in reducing infections, around nine in 10 people need to wear them.

Some groups – such as people with breathing problems or young children – may struggle to wear face coverings.

The Government document states that face coverings should not be used by children under the age of two, people with respiratory conditions or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly – such as primary school age children unassisted.

If I develop Covid-19 symptoms can I still go out if I wear a mask or covering?

No. The document states: “If you have symptoms of Covid-19 (cough and/or high temperature) you and your household should isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this.”

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: PA

What sort of face coverings should I use?

Scarves, cotton homemade coverings that cover nose and mouth and other bought masks that are not ones used by the health service are fine.

Officials said that people can make coverings at home, but added that “the key thing is it should cover your mouth and nose”.

People have been advised not to use surgical masks or respirators as these should be reserved for health and care workers and for people in industrial settings such as those exposed to dust.

The World Health Organisation has said that it is imperative that medical masks are prioritised for health and care workers.

But it has also suggested that people in the community who have Covid-19, or are caring for someone with it, should also wear medical masks.

What else is included in the lockdown easing plans?

  • Families could link up with one other household in the future.
  • International travellers will be asked to quarantine for 14 days when they enter the country, either in accommodation of their choice or provided by the Government if there are no other options.
  • The Government’s ambition is that all primary school children will be able to go to school for a month before the summer holidays.
  • Non-essential retail could be able to open no earlier than June 1 if it can be proven they can keep people safe.
  • Those who are shielding should continue to shield though it may become clear that those less at risk can be given more freedoms.
  • The Government is examining “how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings”.
  • Those who are not in the shielded group but who are more vulnerable to Covid-19, such as the over-70s, should “continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their households, but do not need to be shielded.”
  • Cultural and sporting events will be able to take place behind closed doors for broadcast from next month, avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.
  • No earlier than July 4, the ambition is to “open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty salons), hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places (such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas). They will need to meet “Covid secure” guidelines and some may not meet the requirement.

The document also sets out how restrictions may be lifted and implemented on a regional basis, depending on local levels of infection.

The document says: “The Government may adjust restrictions in some regions before others: a greater risk in Cornwall should not lead to disproportionate restrictions in Newcastle if the risk is lower.”