SUPERMARKET’S have urged shoppers to keep wearing masks from Monday.
From July 19 there will no longer be a law on wearing masks but many retail bosses are asking shoppers to still do so.
All lockdown restrictions are due to end after the weekend but the new covid policy says the Government “expects and recommends” masks to be worn by workers and customers.
The advice is for situations especially in crowded, enclosed spaces as the work from home order ends in a few days time.
Masks are to remain mandatory in Scotland and Wales though.
Shoppers in England will have to wear masks if the store still requires it and off the back of the latest policy many retailers are recommending such.
But as it is no longer a law it can’t be enforced fully.
Lots of supermarkets are encouraging shoppers to continue to wear masks, and they are insisting on leaving signage up that recommends this.
Sainsbury’s said it would encourage customers to continue wearing masks in its supermarkets, with the workplace guidance on masks stating it does not just apply to staff.
The supermarket said: “Face coverings are no longer required by law,”
“However, the Government expects and recommends that people continue to wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces.”
Lidl, Asda, Aldi, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have all released statements asking customers to be considerate of others and saying they will encourage shoppers to wear masks.
We’re still waiting to hear back from Morrisons.
Other retailers are for mask wearing too.
Primark hopes customers will continue to follow the recommendations on wearing masks in stores as well as promising to keep up perspex screens and hand sanitisation stations.
A Primark spokesperson said: “We want our customers and colleagues to continue to feel safe in our stores.
“Even though it will no longer be a legal requirement, we hope that people will continue to think of others and wear a face covering if they can.
John Lewis recommended that shoppers wear them and told The Guardian: “The decision over whether to do so or not, when in our shops, will be for each individual to take, based on their own judgement”
Unions and employers have criticised the guidance for Step 4 of the Prime Minister’s plan to end the lockdown, with the TUC calling it a “recipe for chaos and rising infections”.
Paddy Lillis, general secretary of the shop union Usdaw, said: “Protection for retail workers through wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing in busy public areas like shops should be backed up by the law.”
The guidance also applies to offices, factories, construction sites and close contact services such as hairdressers.
Table service is recommended to continue in bars too, while pubs, restaurants and nightclubs are encouraged to check vaccine and testing status on entry.
Plus metro mayors have also encouraged the use of masks on their transport networks to continue.
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said: “We remain of the view that the best solution is for the Government to maintain a requirement of face coverings on all modes of public transport and we call on them, even at this stage, to return to that position.”
It comes as health agency figures showed two-thirds of adults in the UK are estimated to have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine already.
Dr Roger Barker, policy director at the Institute of Directors, said bosses are “understandably confused” as he criticised “a series of mixed messages and patchwork requirements”.
He said: “Return to work or continue to stay at home. Throw away your masks or continue to wear them. Today’s long-awaited guidance from Government has done little to dispel that confusion.”