The Government has announced that wearing face masks and coverings will become mandatory in shops in England from July 24. Those people who fail to comply with the new rules will face a fine of up to £100.
Speaking in Parliament today (July 14), Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it would "give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protections for those who work in shops".
Children under 11, people with disabilities and those who suffer from breathing difficulties will be exempt. The new rule will not apply to retail staff. Mask-wearing has been compulsory on public transport in England and at NHS facilities across the UK since June 15. In Scotland, face masks were made mandatory in shops from July 10.
The latest rules for shops will be enforced by the police, with anyone disregarding them at risk of a fine of up to £100. This will be reduced to £50 if the fine is paid within 14 days.
"A shop can refuse them entry and can call the police if they refuse to comply," Mr Hancock said.
Responding to the announcement, Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said: “Retailers have made the safety of staff and customers their top priority and we support measures aimed at protecting the health of the public.
“While retailers will play their part in communicating the new rules on face coverings, they must not be the ones enforcing these rules. With hundreds of incidents of violence and abuse directed at retail staff every day, we welcome the announcement that enforcement will be left to the authorities, rather than potentially putting hardworking retail colleagues in harm’s way.
“Retailers have already spent hundreds of millions installing perspex screens, implementing social distancing measures and providing additional cleaning in stores. We hope this announcement will make shoppers feel even more confident about returning to the high street.”
In late May of this year, buying group CIH, which is part of Euronics, announced it would deliver one free of charge PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) starter kit to all of its members’ stores.
The kit contains face masks, gloves and floor tape, as well as additional protective face shields manufactured by LG. Special BSH hand sanitiser units can be ordered and supplied according to members’ needs.
As part of a full suite of CIH COVID-19 marketing collateral, door and window posters have been provided for retailers to communicate the key in-store health and safety measures to customers.You can view our page on how to wear, handle and dispose of face coverings HERE.
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