Face mask policy: Tesco, Asda, Marks & Spencer and Aldi could change shopping rules

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Wearing face masks in shops has been compulsory in some parts of the UK since July. This includes supermarkets such Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Aldi and Lidl. Could these rules change?

During the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of retailers began selling face masks.

Some Britons have been wearing these in public spaces for the last few months.

Sporting a covering has recently become compulsory in some parts of the UK.

In Scotland, wearing a face mask in supermarkets has been a requirement since July 10.

Shoppers in England have had to cover up since July 24.

The rules apply to all shops including supermarkets and retail branches.

Customers are asked to put on a covering when they enter stores and keep it on throughout.

Shop workers are able to enforce these rules and can even refuse entry or call the police if they need to.

However, the responsibility of supermarket colleagues has raised concerns over the current rules.

Employees do not necessarily need to wear masks themselves which has caused concerns for some.

The new law has reportedly led to the rise of aggressive behaviour towards staff.

The Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has now published a report on the rules.

A statement said: “The committee recognises that there are practical reasons for this difference in requirement to wear a face covering, (uncomfortable to wear for long periods on duty for example), but suggests it can reasonably be anticipated that difficulties may arise where staff in shops, who are not wearing face coverings, ask a member of the public to put one on.”

The report acknowledged the possible risk to staff enforcing face mask rules.

It said that face mask policies should be regularly reviewed in light of how it is received.

The statement continued: “The committee concludes that ‘given the potential challenges… the government should keep the implementation and effectiveness of this policy and any sensitivities arising from it under close scrutiny’.”

If face mask rules continue to be reviewed, this could lead to changes in the policy.

Lord Hodgson, chair of the secondary legislation scrutiny committee said: “When we discussed this issue, the committee had real concerns that staff in shops asking customers to wear a face covering could find themselves in a potentially difficult position if customers challenge them in return on why they aren’t wearing face coverings themselves.

“We recognise the reasons for these different requirements but note that the government must continue to monitor how effectively this policy can be implemented.”

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