SUPERMARKET chains Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Lidl and Aldi have provided an update on the face mask rules for shoppers across the UK.
It comes as UK Government relaxed Coronavirus rules on Monday, July 19, across England.
Since the change in law, the country’s biggest grocery chains have shared the latest rules and guidance for those planning to shop in their stores.
Do shoppers still have to wear masks inside a supermarket?
Social-distancing rules which, in one form or another, have governed people’s lives for over a year – ended across England on July 19 at one minute past midnight.
It now means it is no longer a legal requirement to wear a mask inside a shop but the government has replaced the law with guidance.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said workers and customers are still “expected and recommended” to wear masks in crowded indoor areas – and the government’s official message is one of “personal responsibility” and “informed choice”.
Face masks are also no longer mandatory on public transport, limits on gathering have gone and the work from home guidance has also ended.
Nightclubs, theatres and restaurants can fully reopen, while pubs are no longer restricted to table service only.
Which supermarkets are keeping mask wearing in-store?
Tesco say they want to continue with certain measures “to be on the safe side.”
Staff and shoppers will be encouraged to keep wearing face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces, if they can.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, face coverings will remain mandatory unless exempt, as set out in government guidance.
Tesco stores are also keeping enhanced hygiene and cleaning measures in place, like hand sanitiser at entrances.
Asda will continue to supply face coverings at the front of the store for people who forget to bring their own mask.
A spokesman said: “We encourage customers to be respectful to each other and to follow the government guidance on face coverings when shopping in our stores after 19 July.”
In a statement, a Morrisons spokeswoman said: “In England, while face coverings will no longer be a legal requirement, guidance encourages everyone to wear one in crowded areas.
“We will encourage all customers and colleagues to follow this guidance in store, to maintain social distancing and to exercise their own judgement. We will also continue to offer a free face covering to any customer or colleague who may have forgotten theirs.”
Protective screens and sanitising stations will remain in place in all stores.
In Scotland and Wales face coverings remain a legal requirement and from July 19, a one-metre social distancing rule in Scotland and two-metre social distancing rule in Wales will apply.
A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said that wearing a face covering becomes a personal choice in England from July 19 – but the store will still encourage shoppers to continue to wear a face mask if they can.
The retailer plans to keep screens between customers and colleagues at checkouts, hand sanitiser stations and all strict cleaning regimes.
Waitrose have recommended that customers in England continue to wear a face covering, unless they are exempt.
The decision over whether to do so or not, when in their shops, will be for each individual to take, based on their own judgement.
In Scotland and Wales, Waitrose say it will follow legislation which requires customers to continue to wear masks, unless exempt.
Lidl will keep signs at its store entrances reminding its customers that the government expects shoppers to wear masks in crowded areas.
Masks will still be available to pick up at the store entrances to then purchase at the till when customers complete their shop.
Wearing a face covering in Scotland and Wales stores is still mandatory in line with government regulations.
Beyond July 19, Aldi staff will continue to encourage customers and colleagues to wear face coverings when they’re in store.
Other measures like hand sanitiser and screens will also stay in place.
Face masks are still required for customers and colleagues in their Welsh and Scottish stores, in line with the latest guidance.