Home U.K. Face mask policy: Furious shoppers to BOYCOTT supermarkets who do NOT enforce...

Face mask policy: Furious shoppers to BOYCOTT supermarkets who do NOT enforce coverings

Starting today shoppers must wear a face mask when inside shops and supermarkets due to the ongoing risk of COVID-19 infection. But while shoppers have been warned about the need to wear masks, some supermarkets have said they will not challenge those who don’t.

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Sainsbury’s was asked on Twitter if they could confirm their requirement for shoppers to wear face masks in their stores.

The supermarket giant replied that they will not be challenging those who don’t wear masks “since they may have a reason not to wear” one.

The tweet sparked concern from users, with many saying they won’t be coming back to the store.

In replies to angry users, Sainsbury’s clarified that there will be reminders for customers to wear face masks, but the supermarket does not expect staff “to enforce the new rules”.

READ MORE: Face mask policy: Police given new powers to use ‘reasonable force’ on stubborn shoppers

 

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Shoppers are furious at some supermarkets refusal to enforce face masks (Image: PA•GETTY)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that face masks would be mandatory from July 24 (Image: PA)

Sainsbury’s, along with Asda and Costa Coffee, have said they will not police the new coronavirus law.

Asda said that the enforcement of the new laws is the “responsibility of the relevant authorities”.

Those who break the rules could face a fine up to £100, and can be removed forcefully by the police from shops. 

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But police forces have said that the fines and forceful removals will only be used as a last resort.

The UK’s total coronavirus cases listed as of July 23 (Image: Express)

Worldwide coronavirus cases as of July 23 (Image: Express)

Some shoppers have said they were disappointed by the supermarkets’ stance on face masks.

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One user tweeted: “You are willing to endanger your staff and customers just because there are a few idiots who think they are too special to take basic precautions?

Another said they will “no longer be using” any supermarket not enforcing the policy until the virus is gone.

They added: “Must put my family’s safety first.”

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Others pointed out that the supermarket’s staff might be subject to abuse if they force customers to wear a mask.

One user said: “Sainsbury’s will not be the only retailer not to enforce the rules, they simply will not want to put their staff or the company in confrontational situations nor is it the responsibility for them to enforce it. That’s the polices job.”

Another user added: “They are right not to challenge. None of their staff deserve to face the inevitable abuse if they did.

Other users pointed out that the supermarkets were attempting not to discriminate against those with disabilities exempting them from mask usage.

Sainsbury’s, along with Asda and Costa Coffee, have said they will not police the new coronavirus law. (Image: PA)

Those who break the rules could face a fine up to £100 (Image: PA)

The head of the Trades Union Congress, Frances O’Grady, also warned the new rules could put staff at risk of abuse.

She said to the BBC: “The new rules requiring shoppers to wear masks may further risk staff safety.

“Shop staff are not required to police the wearing of face masks – employers must make this clear.

“And every employer must publish a risk assessment that sets out how they will safeguard staff from abusive customers and those who refuse to wear masks.”

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