Face mask rules for supermarkets: Do I need to wear a covering at Tesco, Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury’s?


SHOPPERS in England must wear a face mask in supermarkets from today or risk being slapped with a £100 fine.

It’s hoped that the new rules, which are already enforced on public transport, will help to stop the spread of Covid-19.

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But some retailers have already said that they won’t be forcing customers to follow the rules.

Costa Coffee, Sainsbury’s and Asda all say that it is not their responsibility to “police” the people who come into their stores.

Tom Ironside, from trade body the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said that while shops are doing “everything they can” to support the safety regulations, it is up to the police to enforce the rules.

He added: “The ultimate responsibility remains with customers who must ensure that they wear a face covering when going into stores.”

It comes as Care Minister Helen Whately said it would be “inappropriate” for police to be called if someone refuses to cover their face in stores.

She added that the government strategy relies on the common sense of Brits to protect each other.

Not everyone has to wear a face mask, such as children under 11 and those with underlying health conditions.

Face coverings are already mandatory in shops in Scotland but shoppers don’t have to wear them in Wales.

Here, we take you through each supermarkets’ rules around face coverings:

Aldi customers will be stopped from entering the store if they’re not wearing a face covering.

In an email to shoppers, the supermarket’s top boss Giles Hurley said: “Last week, the government announced that face coverings will be compulsory in shops in England from July 24 and, for that reason, you will need to wear a face covering to enter one of our stores from this date.”

There are 870 Aldi stores in the UK and you can find your nearest one here.

The supermarket has said that it strongly encourages customers to wear a face covering but staff won’t stop those who aren’t wearing one from entering the stores.

It added: “It is the responsibility of the relevant authorities to police and enforce the new rules.”

Asda has more than 600 branches in the UK, which you can find using the locator tool.

The Co-op has said that it will not be enforcing the face covering rules in any of it’s 4,000 stores across the UK.

The retailer says that it is customers’ responsibility to follow the legislation and it has put up signs around the store reminding them to do so.

But it added that it has seen a sharp rise in abuse, threats and even assaults on shop workers and it believes that asking staff to enforce the latest rules will put them at risk.

The Co-op is campaigning for greater legal protect for shop workers in stores.

Shoppers who aren’t wearing face masks won’t be stopped from entering Iceland stores by shop assistants, the supermarket has said.

It added that it trusts customers to adhere to the rules around the mandatory face coverings.

A spokesperson told The Sun: “We welcome the additional measures brought in by the government and will be supporting mandatory face coverings in our stores in England from today, whilst observing the exemptions outlined in the latest guidance.

“However, we will not put our staff at risk by asking them to police this.”

There are 890 Iceland supermarkets in the UK – you can find your nearest one here.

Shoppers won’t be turned away for not wearing a face mask when they go to a Lidl supermarket.

The retailer says that it is the responsibility of the individual to adhere to the rules.

There are more than 800 Lidl supermarkets in the UK – you can find your nearest one here.

Staff will not force customers to wear face coverings before entering any M&S store.

But there will be a member of staff at the doors of the shop to politely remind shoppers that they should be wearing one if they can.

There are 1,035 M&S stores in the UK and you can use the locator tool to find your nearest branch.

Morrisons is encouraging customers to wear face masks and will be handing out free ones to shoppers who forget.

It has also put up signs around the store to remind them of the guidelines, but it won’t be policing customers.

A spokesperson said:  “We are following government guidelines to keep our customers and staff safe.”  

There are around 500 Morrisons stores in the UK and you can find your nearest one here.

Sainsbury’s is asking customers to “play their part” in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

But it added that “our colleagues will not be responsible for enforcing” the mandatory face covering rules.

Customers are required to wear a face mask when they visit a Tesco store, inline with government guidance.

But shoppers won’t be stopped from entering one of the nearly 4,000 UK branches if they haven’t covered their face.

The supermarket is making packs of face masks available to purchase near the front of the store for if customers forget to bring one, which they can pay for at the till when they come to pay for their shop.

Waitrose says that it’s not for supermarkets to impose the mandatory wearing of face mask rules in stores.

But staff at entrances will be reminding customers that they should cover their nose and mouth when shopping at one of its 340 shops.



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