SUPERMARKET chains Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Lidl and Aldi have provided an update on face mask rules for shoppers across the UK.
It comes as the UK government eased coronavirus rules on Monday July 19 across England.
Since the law change, the nation’s largest grocery chains have shared the latest rules and guidelines for those considering shopping in their stores.
Do shoppers always have to wear masks inside a supermarket?
The social distancing rules which in one form or another have governed people’s lives for over a year – ended across England on July 19 at midnight one minute.
This now means that it is no longer mandatory to wear a mask inside a store, but the government has replaced the law with guidelines.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said workers and customers are still “expected and recommended” to wear masks in crowded interior areas – and the government’s official message is of “personal responsibility” and ” informed choice ”.
Face masks are also no longer mandatory on public transport, assembly limits have disappeared, and home guiding work has also ended.
Nightclubs, theaters and restaurants can reopen completely, while pubs are no longer limited to table service only.
Which supermarkets keep wearing the mask in store?
Tesco says they want to continue with certain measures “to be on the safe side”.
Staff and buyers will be encouraged to continue to wear face coverings in crowded and confined spaces, if possible.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, face coverings will remain mandatory unless exempted, as stated in government guidelines.
Tesco stores also maintain enhanced hygiene and cleaning measures, such as hand sanitizer at the entrances.
Asda will continue to provide face shields at the front of the store for people who forget to bring their own mask.
A spokesperson said, “We encourage customers to be respectful of each other and follow government guidelines for face coverings when shopping in our stores after July 19.”
In a statement, a spokeswoman for Morrisons said: “In England, while face coverings will no longer be a legal requirement, guidelines encourage everyone to wear one in crowded areas.
“We will encourage all customers and colleagues to follow this advice in store, maintain social distancing and exercise their own judgment. We will also continue to offer a free face cover to any client or colleague who forgot theirs. ”
Protective screens and disinfection stations will remain in place in all stores.
In Scotland and Wales, face coverings remain a legal requirement and from July 19 a one-meter social distancing rule in Scotland and a two-meter social distancing rule in Wales will apply .
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said wearing a face cover would become a personal choice in England from July 19 – but the store will still encourage shoppers to continue wearing a face mask if they can.
The retailer plans to keep screens between customers and coworkers at checkouts, hand sanitizing stations and all strict cleaning regimes.
Waitrose has recommended that customers in England continue to wear face coverings, unless they are exempt.
The decision of whether or not to do this, once in their stores, will be up to each individual, based on their own judgment.
In Scotland and Wales, Waitrose said it would follow legislation that requires customers to continue to wear masks, unless waived.
Lidl will keep signs at the entrances to its stores reminding customers that the government expects shoppers to wear masks in crowded areas.
Masks will still be available to collect at store entrances to then be purchased at the checkout when customers have completed their store.
Wearing a face cover in stores in Scotland and Wales is still mandatory in accordance with government regulations.
Beyond July 19, Aldi staff will continue to encourage customers and coworkers to wear face coverings while in stores.
Other measures like hand sanitizer and screens will also remain in place.
Face masks are still required for customers and colleagues in their Welsh and Scottish stores, following the latest guidelines.