Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops and confined spaces in England by law next week, according to reports.
Mr Johnson this week hinted that he plans to change the law to ensure people wear masks when in public.
In England they are already mandatory in hospitals and on public transport.
If Mr Johnson wants to change the law it will have to be done next week ahead of Parliament’s summer recess.
Boris Johnson is preparing to tell the Commons the move is necessary to encourage a swifter shift towards “more normal” living, according to The Mirror.
Scientists are split in the effectiveness of masks in helping stop the spread of the doisease.
In some circumstance they can make the situation worse if people fail to follow proper hygiene, don’t wear masks properly;y or feel falsely secure because of masks and therefore don’t follow other rules such as distancing and hand washing.
ut some research says that used properly masks can reduce the spread of the disease by 65 per cebnt.
Masks are already mandatory in shops in Scotland.
Johnson has only days to push the new guidance, which will require a change to emergency legislation, through Parliament before the long summer recess next week.
The move follows the PM’s first appearance wearing a mask in public on Friday after criticisms that he and ministers such as the Chancellor Rishi Sunak were not wearing masks when in close contact with others.
Face coverings became mandatory in shops in Scotland from Friday.
Scientists have advised Number 10 that wearing face coverings should quickly become a social norm.
Those without masks will be regarded as anti-social and wearing one should become as normal as seatbelts, said one adviser.
Johnson told questioners during a virtual Q&A session that “stricter” new rules would be needed to overcome a lack of tradition in Britain about wearing masks.
“It’s very interesting, because in places like China and the Far East, they don’t actually have mandatory face coverings. It’s just part of the way they do things.
“Clearly we don’t have that culture here and we have to think about how we make it happen and how we make it work.”
The green light will be given this week, with some practical details – such as the definition of a “confined space” – to follow in the following days.
The vision comes as studies show greater public willingness to wear and a report from the World Health Organisation warning of “emerging evidence” that Covid can be spread through particles in the air.