Starting today, shoppers are required to wear a face mask when in stores and supermarkets due to the continued risk of COVID-19 infection. But while shoppers have been warned of the need to wear masks, some supermarkets have said they will not challenge those who don’t.
The tweet raised concern among users, with many saying they would not be returning to the store.
In responses to angry users, Sainsbury’s clarified that there would be reminders for customers to wear masks, but the supermarket does not expect staff to “enforce the new rules”.
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Sainsbury’s, along with Asda and Costa Coffee, have said they will not control the new coronavirus law.
Asda said enforcement of the new laws is the “responsibility of the competent authorities.”
Those who break the rules face a fine of up to £ 100 and can be forcibly evicted by police from shops.
But police have said fines and forced dismissals will only be used as a last resort.
Others have pointed out that supermarket staff could be subject to abuse if they force customers to wear masks.
One user said: “Sainsbury’s won’t be the only retailer not enforcing the rules, they just won’t want to put their staff or the business in confrontational situations and neither is it their responsibility to enforce them. This is the job of the police.
Another user added: “They are right not to dispute. None of their staff deserves the inevitable abuse if they do.
Other users pointed out that supermarkets try not to discriminate against people with disabilities by exempting them from the use of masks.
Trade Union Congress chief Frances O’Grady also warned that the new rules could expose staff to abuse.
She told the BBC: “The new rules requiring buyers to wear masks may further endanger the safety of staff.
“Workshop staff are not required to control the wearing of face masks – employers should make this clear.
“And every employer must publish a risk assessment that explains how to protect staff from abusive customers and those who refuse to wear masks.”