The government has said it "expects and recommends" shoppers to wear face masks from Monday, but they will not be required by law.
Social distancing will also not be a requirement and people working from home can start to return to work.
The new guidance leaves firms to decide what their safety policies will be from 19 July when Covid rules are lifted.
But it was attacked by employers and unions, with the TUC calling it "a recipe for rising infections".
General Secretary of the shop workers' union Usdaw, Paddy Lillis, told the BBC he is "very disappointed that the government has not consulted broadly with unions and employers".
"It's a real mess," he said.