Face mask rules for B&M, Ikea, Primark, Poundland, B&Q and Wilko explained
Shoppers in England are no longer legally required to wear face masks in stores as of today – but retailers can still ask you to wear one.
The rule change for “Freedom Day” means that you will no longer be fined if you do not wear a face mask and are not exempt.
Under the previous rules, you could be fined £ 200 for not wearing a face cover, up to £ 6,400 for repeat offenders.
Stores are also no longer legally required to place restrictions on the number of shoppers allowed inside at any given time, meaning queues may be less likely from today.
You should note that the removal of face mask fines and social distancing measures only apply to England.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have separate rules in place and at this time you are still required to wear face masks in public places in these parts of the UK.
Primark says it will ask shoppers in England to wear a face mask if they can, so other customers feel safe in its stores.
A Primark spokesperson said: “While this will no longer be a legal requirement, we hope people continue to think of others and wear face coverings if they can.”
Buyers might also be asked to wait outside during peak hours, and there will still be hand sanitizing stations and Plexiglass screens in place.
Poundland says it will be up to his buyers to decide whether they want to wear face masks from today in England.
Right now, it provides free face coverings for those who don’t have one – but you might have to buy one starting today, the rules have changed.
A spokesperson for the retailer said: “We recognize that the rules in England are changing on Monday to make mask wearing a personal choice and we will update our signage to reflect that.
“Although this is a personal choice in England, we understand why many clients and colleagues will still want to wear them.”
Wilko recommends face coverings for staff and asks customers to “show their support by wearing theirs when shopping as well.”
A spokesperson for Wilko said: “Our customers and our team members know we have a long way to go before we get back to normalcy.
“Security remains a top priority and we will continue with our enhanced measures.”
If you are planning a trip to Argos, it might be worth bringing your face mask as the retailer has confirmed it will encourage buyers in England to wear one.
That is, of course, if you are exempt.
Most Argos stores in England remained open to click and collect during the coronavirus pandemic.
B&M has not said if it will still encourage buyers in England to wear face masks from today.
But if he follows other retailers, chances are you’ll still be asked to wear blanket if you’re not exempt to help everyone feel safe.
Store entrances will likely still have hand sanitizing stations, and checkout points will still have plastic screens installed.
B&Q stores in England will have signs in stores that ask shoppers to continue to wear face masks, unless exempted.
The retailer will also ask buyers to keep a safe distance from others.
Hand sanitizing stations and plastic checkout screens are also unlikely to be going away anytime soon.
John Lewis shoppers in England will be urged to continue wearing face masks, but again, store staff will not force you.
The retailer said: “The decision whether or not to do it in our stores will be up to each individual.”
Wearing a mask will be “based on your own judgment”, so you may be encouraged to use one when stores are particularly busy.
Ikea says wearing a face mask is now “a personal choice for customers and colleagues,” but it will encourage buyers to wear one if they can.
Hand sanitizer stations and other safety precautions are also likely to still be used in its stores.
Like other retailers, H&M is also encouraging shoppers in England to continue to wear a face mask if they can.
A spokesperson for H&M said: “With the safety of our colleagues and clients being our top priority, H&M encourages colleagues and clients who may wear a face covering to continue to do so.
“It will provide an extra layer of protection and security for everyone.”
H&M has a limited number of changing rooms open at this time, but you might see more open as of today.