Face masks after Freedom Day: in which stores should I still wear one?
Freedom Day is almost here as England reach the fourth stop on the lockdown roadmap on Monday July 19.
The big day will mean lifting the majority of coronavirus restrictions.
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It comes after the Prime Minister said “we think the time has come to proceed” in his latest announcement.
The new regime means that there are no legal limits to social contact.
People are no longer required by law to wear a face mask in most indoor spaces and mass events may resume.
With cases exceeding 50,000 a day, Boris Johnson has billed people to exercise “cautiously” and several stores are still encouraging shoppers to wear masks.
It is not clear what actions stores could take if non-exempt customers refuse to wear face coverings in-store.
Tesco will encourage customers and workers to continue wearing masks in its supermarkets
The supermarket will encourage all customers to wear a face covering if they can. Sainsbury’s added that if staff are behind a screen, they will not have to wear masks.
The supermarket will have signs at the entrances to remind shoppers that wearing a mask is recommended by the government.
Aldi will encourage customers and workers to wear face coverings when in stores
A spokesperson said Asda “will encourage customers to be respectful of each other and follow government guidelines on face coverings.” There will be signs and advertisements in stores to encourage shoppers to wear masks.
Waitrose “recommends” that shoppers wear face coverings, unless otherwise specified. The company said the decision “will be up to each individual.”
The bookstore said it would “encourage our customers to wear face masks and respect social distancing.”
The store said it hopes “people will continue to think of other people and wear face coverings if they can.”
The company encourages staff and buyers to continue to wear face masks.
Staff will always wear visors or masks. The store said it couldn’t force customers to wear masks, but would rather they do.
The chain recommends face coverings for staff and asks customers to “show their support by wearing theirs when shopping as well.”
Signs in stores will ask shoppers to continue wearing face masks unless exempted from doing so and keeping a safe distance from others.
Wearing a face cover is a “personal choice,” but the company has asked customers to continue to wear one for the safety of workers and other buyers.
Argos will encourage all customers to wear a face cover if they can.
The furniture retailer is promoting the use of face coverings in England, but said it “recognizes it is a personal choice for customers and colleagues”.
Superdrug is awaiting more detailed government guidance before confirming its rules starting July 19. In the meantime, the current mask and social distancing policy remains in place.
Boots recommends that customers continue to wear face masks in stores, especially during peak times and in drugstore areas. Staff will continue to wear masks.
The body store
It will be optional for staff to wear face masks. The retailer has suggested that customers choose whether or not to wear a mask because it understands that “individuals are in all stages of ‘freedom day’ treatment and what they feel comfortable with.”