Why supermarket staff won't have to wear face masks when they become the law

July 23, 2020

Shoppers in England will be required to wear a face covering from this Friday, July 24 in the latest Government measure designed to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.

In the latest in a long line of social distancing rules brought in as a result of the coronavirus crisis, people wanting to visit supermarkets or shops will need to wear a mask or equivalent item - or risk facing a £100 fine. 

 

Though some people are exempt from the rule, most will be fined if caught not wearing a face covering in a supermarket or shop.

 

However, supermarket workers will not have to wear face coverings from Friday.

 

Environment Secretary George Eustice has suggested that it will not be mandatory for staff in places like Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Lidl to wear coverings.

 

Speaking on BBC Breakfast last week, he said: "We want to give people time to plan and prepare and for retailers to maybe put in place measures to encourage people to do this or potentially even to have some masks themselves if people haven’t got one.

 

"Once you make something mandatory as we’re doing now for retail environments, it sends a much stronger signal that people will follow in greater numbers."

 

Speaking about supermarket staff, he said: "They’re not being covered by this but I think if you go into most shops you will see that staff for a longer time now have either been wearing face shields or face masks.

 

"It won’t be a compulsory requirement because it won’t always be right for every setting in a retail environment, particularly those working behind the tills and so on."

 

While supermarkets and shops have not made it mandatory for staff to wear masks or shields, many have provided them to staff who want them.

 

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs last week that they needed to protect people who work in shops, as they have a higher coronavirus death rate than the general public.

 

He said: "In recent weeks, we’ve reopened retail and footfall is rising.

 

"We want to give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protections for those who work in shops. Both of these can be done by the use of face coverings.

 

“Sadly, sales assistants, cashiers and security guards have suffered disproportionately in this crisis.

 

“The death rate of sales and retail assistants is 75 per cent higher amongst men and 60 per cent higher amongst women than in the general population. So as we restore shopping, we must keep our shopkeepers safe."

 

Source: Lincolnshire Live

 

 

Please reload

Subscribe to FreshtalkDaily News and never miss a story