FACE coverings will be compulsory worn on public transport in Wales from July 27, first minister Mark Drakeford has announced.

At the daily coronavirus press conference, Mr Drakeford said new guidelines were being introduced for when the two-metre social distancing guidelines were not possible to maintain on public transport.

The first minister said these should be in place by Monday, July 27, when passengers will also be required to wear face coverings.

"Public transport moves across our porous border with England," he said. "There the use of face coverings is mandatory on public transport.

"And, for the sake of simplicity and consistency, as well as being part of our plan to reduce the risk of transmission while on public transport, where it is not possible to maintain a two-metre physical distance, it will become mandatory in Wales for people to wear a three-layer face covering while travelling on public transport, and that includes taxis."

Mr Drakeford said having separate rules to England on this was "not sustainable in the long run."

When asked why face coverings were not being mandated straight away, Mr Drakeford said there were still details to iron out.

Children under a certain age - which has not yet been specified - those with breathing difficulties and people who rely on lip reading will be exempt from wearing face coverings.

"A couple of weeks to get those things right and get them in place and to do that with the operators is not, I think, unreasonable," said Mr Drakeford. "And in the mean time, anybody who feels more comfortable wearing a face covering on public transport will be free to do so.

"Once it is mandatory, if you don't do it, there are consequences for you. It's fair that the public in Wales have the chance to get themselves ready for that date."

Mr Drakeford reiterated the Welsh Government advice on face coverings is "if you are somewhere where it is crowded, it is advisable to wear a face covering."

Details on how these measures will be enforced in the next few days, but the first minister did say enforcement "cannot be left to the driver and to staff on the ground."

Mr Drakeford was also asked about comments from Labour's shadow minister for business, energy and industrial strategy Lucy Powell MP about the importance of bringing confidence back to the public by mandating face coverings be worn in shops.

"I'm responsible for the position in Wales, not anyone else's position in England," said the first minister. "I have set out why in Wales our position is that mandation on public transport will be a requirement from July 27.

"We do not intend to mandate their use in other contexts while the circulation of the virus in Wales remains at such a low ebb."