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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Find out which supermarkets are encouraging face masks in stores despite rule change

A number of retailers are asking staff and shoppers to keep masks on as Britain emerges from ‘Plan B’ restrictions today.

Bradford-based Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Wilko, John Lewis, and Waitrose will continue to ask people in England to wear masks in their shops when Plan B rules end on Thursday.

Rail operators also said passengers would be expected to wear masks after the legal requirement for face coverings in public places is dropped.

The retails and rail operators say they will encourage customers to comply, but they will not be forced.

Plan B rules, imposed in early December in response to rising Omicron levels, were lifted today, following Boris Johnson’s announcement in the House of Commons last week.

Masks are no longer a legal requirement to wear in public spaces and the NHS Covid-19 pass has been scrapped.

The prime minister told parliament last week that he believes that the wave of Omicron has peaked in the UK following the successful rollout of the booster vaccination programme.

However, the government is still advising people to wear masks in enclosed or crowded spaces and when meeting strangers.

Trade union Usdaw, which represents 360,000 retail workers, has urged customers to continue to “observe Covid safety measures”, despite the mandatory requirement for masks ending.

Sainsbury’s said safety was its “highest priority” and that it would ask customers and staff in England to “continue to wear face coverings in our stores if they are able to”.

Sainsbury’s will use poster campaigns and speaker announcements to get the message across in-store.

Electronics retailer Currys said it would urge its staff to continue to wear masks in-store and while delivering products to homes but wouldn’t ask customers.

A spokesperson for John Lewis and Partners, which includes Waitrose, said: “We’ll be suggesting people wear masks in our stores, although it will be down to individuals to make a personal choice.”

However, The British Retail Consortium said the changes “will enable shopping to return to a more normal experience for customers, employees and businesses”.

Will you continue to wear face coverings in public and in shops? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

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