COVID-19: Sainsbury’s encourages shoppers to continue wearing face coverings

COVID-19: Sainsbury’s encourages shoppers to continue wearing face coverings

Sainsbury’s shoppers will be encouraged to continue wearing masks in stores next week even though it will no longer be legally required.

The company became the first major supermarket to reveal its position hours after the government issued guidelines saying it “expects and recommends that people continue to wear face coverings in confined and crowded spaces.” .

Sainsbury’s said new tannoy signs and messages “will encourage customers to continue to wear a face covering, if they can,” with staff also being encouraged to do so, unless they are behind a screen.

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“While wearing a face covering becomes a personal choice, the decision to ask everyone in stores to continue to wear a face covering if they can, reflects feedback from customers and colleagues where the majority of those surveyed want to keep the policy in place, ”the company says.

Sainsbury’s, which is Britain’s second-largest supermarket chain, said some screens would be phased out from stores in England, but those separating customers and checkout staff would remain in place.

The retailer added that the hand sanitizer stations will remain in storage while they continue with deep cleaning of carts and baskets and deep cleaning overnight.

Managing Director Simon Roberts said: “As we respond to the recent change in government guidelines, we know that safety is still a priority for many of our colleagues and clients.

“The safety of our colleagues is vital and many of our colleagues would feel more comfortable if those who can wear face coverings continued to wear them.

“We have also listened carefully to our customers and they tell us the same thing.

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“We ask everyone to be considerate and while we understand that wearing a face covering will now be a personal choice, we want to make sure we are supporting and protecting ourselves as best we can in the weeks and months. months to come. “

The announcement comes after bookstore chain Waterstones said it would continue to encourage customers to wear masks and observe social distancing in its stores.

Government guidelines for workplaces released on Wednesday have been criticized by unions and business groups for failing to provide clarity as they transfer responsibility to employers to manage risks to staff and customers.

Local authorities in parts of England including London will continue to tell passengers to wear masks on public transport, although rail and bus operator Go-Ahead has said he will not insist they do so unless he has received one. order.

Meanwhile, nightclub operator REKOM UK has avoided government encouragement for these companies to use COVID passports to try to minimize the risk of virus transmission.

Sky News has contacted other supermarket groups to ask them to confirm their policies.


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