Boris Johnson had hinted at copying Scotland by introducing the rule, as he was pictured for the first time wearing a covering himself.
But, asked if that would be “mandatory” in shops, Mr Gove said. “I don’t think mandatory, but I would encourage people to wear face masks.
“It is basic good manners, courtesy and consideration to wear a face mask if, for example, you are in a shop. I trust people’s good sense.”
The cabinet office minister also revealed the government was significantly boosting the manufacture of face coverings, with factories “in Wales and Burnley”.
The government has been accused of spreading confusion on the issue, with only 36 per cent of Britons wearing coverings in public places – far short of the numbers in France (78 per cent) and Italy (83 per cent).