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Face Mask Row Isolates Johnson as U.K. Covid Strategy Fractures

  • London, Wales and Scotland to keep mandatory face coverings
  • Businesses fear abuse for staff who tell customers to cover up
Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street in London on July 14. 

Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street in London on July 14. 

Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is increasingly isolated over his decision to scrap rules requiring face masks to be worn in shops and on public transport, amid a backlash from businesses and officials across the U.K.

From Monday, Johnson will lift Covid restrictions in England to make mask wearing optional in all settings. But authorities in Scotland, Wales and London are planning their own rules in which face coverings will remain compulsory.