Retailers like Tesco and Asda followed suit Sainsbury’s explaining how they will operate from July 19, when most COVID-19 safety rules will be removed in England.
Wearing masks in stores will no longer be a legal requirement as of Monday, but guidelines released by the government say it “expects and recommends that people continue to wear face coverings in confined and crowded spaces” .
Critics say advice does not provide sufficient clarity for employers, who are encouraged to do their own risk assessments on what to do, with a few days to spare until the rules change.
A spokeswoman for the cooperative, who like her rivals will support the continued use of masks, said she would not enforce the policy, stressing fears it could be a “flashpoint for violence. and abuse ”towards staff.
John Lewis Partnership, owner of John Lewis Department Stores and Waitrose Supermarkets, said wearing face coverings would be a decision “for every individual”.
Tesco, Britain’s largest supermarket, said it was asking customers and staff to “be on the safe side”.
Here’s what retailers are saying about how they’ll operate in England from next week:
“We ask our customers and colleagues to be careful, and therefore starting July 19, we will encourage our colleagues to wear face coverings while they work and will encourage our customers to do the same when shopping. with us. Said a spokesperson.
Other ongoing security measures will include limits on the number of people in store at any one time with a “one-in-one-out” system, protective screens at each checkout, hand sanitizing stations and regular cleaning.
There will also always be signs to help people keep a safe distance as well as separate entrances and exits.
It is understood that Tesco will not refuse entry to those who do not wear a mask.
New signs and tannoy messages in stores will encourage customers to continue wearing face coverings “if they can.”
“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 respondents want to keep the policy in place, ”says the supermarket.
The screens between staff and customers at checkouts will remain, but those between self-service checkouts and the queue division will be phased out from stores in England.
Hand sanitizing stations will remain in all stores and deep cleaning of carts and baskets, as well as deep cleaning overnight, will also continue.
A spokesperson said, “We encourage customers to be respectful of each other and follow government guidelines on face coverings when shopping at our stores after July 19. “
Signs and announcements in stores will encourage people to continue wearing masks and they will be provided at the front of stores for those who wish to wear one.
Other measures, including the use of hand sanitizers, cleaning of carts and baskets and screens at checkouts, will also continue.
“We will encourage all customers and colleagues to follow this advice in store, maintain social distancing and exercise their own judgment,” the supermarket said.
“We will also continue to offer a free face covering to any client or colleague who forgot theirs. “
The discount supermarket said it would “continue to encourage customers and coworkers to wear face coverings when in stores,” while other measures such as hand sanitizer and screens would also remain in place. square.
“While no longer legally required, the government recommends people continue to wear face coverings in crowded or indoor spaces and we will have signage in place at store entrances to remind our customers,” said Lidl.
“Perspex at checkout screens and hand sanitizing stations will also remain in place in all of our stores for the time being as we gradually move into this next phase. “
John Lewis et Waitrose
John Lewis Partnership will recommend that customers and staff in England continue to wear face coverings, unless otherwise specified, from July 19, a spokesperson said.
“The decision to do it or not, in our stores, will be up to each individual, based on their own judgment,” added the spokesperson.
Plexiglass screens, hand disinfection stations and other hygiene and cleaning measures will remain.
Signs in stores will say, “Please feel free to wear a face cover in our store. “
The cooperative also said it would “encourage all shoppers to respect people’s personal space while in the store.”
Disinfection screens and stations will also remain, but stores will not require masks to be worn.
A spokeswoman said: “It is not for us to impose face coverings or refuse to serve a customer who chooses not to wear one, as this can be a flashpoint for violence and abuse of our store teams. “
“Given our closed browsing environment, we encourage our customers to wear face masks and respect social distancing, respecting the safety of staff and other book enthusiasts,” the bookstore chain said in a tweet.