Rishi Sunak has said he will stop wearing a face mask "as soon as possible". 

The Chancellor was the second Cabinet minister to hail the end of the legal requirement to wear face coverings after George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, said he was looking forward to the moment. 

Laws requiring the wearing of masks in certain settings are set to be lifted on July 19, although guidance urging people to wear them is likely to remain.

It is part of a wider drive by Downing Street to move away from the legal enforcement of Covid restrictions and towards people taking personal responsibility for following advice.

Asked whether he would stop wearing a mask as soon as it ceases to be a legal requirement, Mr Sunak said: "Yes, as soon as possible.

"Things are looking good for July 19, as the Prime Minister said, and my strong expectation is we can lift these major restrictions then and get back to normal."

Asked whether he would still wear a mask once restrictions end, Mr Eustice said: "I wouldn’t, no. I have to be honest, once I’m told that it’s safe not to I want to get back to normal. I think a lot of people will want to shed those masks."

Mr Eustice said Boris Johnson’s aim was to end all laws that have underpinned Covid restrictions for the final stage of reopening in England on July 19.

He added: "Whether there will still be some people who might choose to wear masks or whether it may be advisory in some settings, that’s a separate matter. But the objective of that final stage is to remove the legal requirement to do these things."

A Number 10 spokesman declined to comment when asked whether Mr Johnson shared the position of his two Cabinet colleagues. 

Meanwhile, it emerged that Transport for London may struggle to enforce the wearing of masks if the law underpinning the rules expires. A source in the London Mayor’s office said that while Andy Byford, London’s transport commissioner, could set new rules for underground carriages, he is unlikely to do so.