Supermarkets, banks and local stores including Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s are getting tough on customers who visit stores and ignore the Government rules on wearing face coverings at indoor public places.
Stores up and down the country are now implementing a ‘No mask – No entry’ policy, as NHS reach a breaking point and cases of the new Covid-19 variant rapidly increase.
It comes after Sainsbury’s have stepped up on their policy of one member from each household only, with checks taking place before entry to the stores.
It’s the question that many people have been asking as it has become mandatory since last July to wear a face-covering when in a shop in England.
Do I have to wear one? And can a shop worker refuse me entry if I don’t?
The short answer is, yes you have to wear one and yes they can refuse you entry.
The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has gone as far as telling shop staff they can call in the police if people refuse to comply.
Mr Hancock said shopkeepers “can refuse entry” to people not wearing coverings and said police enforcement would be the “last resort” after the Police Federation of England and Wales pressed the government on the issue.
The public is asked to be mindful of people who are exempt from wearing a face covering. The list of exemptions, which has been in place since face coverings became mandatory on public transport, includes hidden conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders, autism, breathing difficulties, dementia, reduced vision or if you are with someone who relies on lip-reading to communicate.
Under the regulations, members of the public will need to wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and transport hubs, to help curb the spread of the virus.
Members of the public are still urged where possible to wear a face-covering to help protect both themselves and others.
Tesco’s have stated:
“We do understand that there are medical exemptions to this and ask where it is possible to use a sunflower lanyard to highlight this to our teams.
We remain to understand and are trained to support you and allow entry.
Where you have genuinely forgotten a mask we will have free disposable ones to hand out at the front door to allow you to shop as normal.
We will again have a presence at the front door daily to support this safety message which will include our store management team. This is now supported by all of the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets.”
Iceland stores however have said it would not ask staff to police mask-wearing. The store claim they had recorded more than 600 instances of verbal abuse and 30 actual assaults as a result of customers refusing to comply with various Covid rules since the start of the pandemic.
Banks have taken a stronger stance on the issue with HSBC stating it would crack down on customers refusing to wear masks by potentially closing their accounts.
Nationwide said branches were “perfectly within their rights to refuse to serve anyone not wearing a face covering”, while TSB said it would “take appropriate action” against rule-breakers.