Supermarkets across the country have issued guidance to customers, based on the new laws, but many have said they will not be enforcing the rules themselves, instead leaving it to the individual’s discretion. Here’s what they have said:
Tesco has made it clear that staff will not be expected to police the new rules. Writing on Twitter, the chain said: "Our colleagues shouldn't be challenging or refuse entry to customers visiting our stores without a facemask."
However, customers will be expected to adhere to the law. In a separate Tweet Tesco wrote: "To help keep you and our colleagues safe in-store and reflect the latest government guidance, customers will be required to wear face coverings while shopping from Friday, 24 July. Face coverings will be available to purchase in-store and online (while stocks last)."
Sainsbury’s has also refused to ask staff to challenge shoppers who do not comply.
Responding to a customer on Twitter, the supermarket wrote: "We won’t be challenging customers without a mask when they enter or when they are in store since they may have a reason not to wear a mask."
A spokesperson for Asda told Yahoo News UK: "We are complying with all Government guidelines and we welcome customers wearing face masks or not.
"Our colleagues all have the option of wearing face masks which we have supplied and the colleagues in clinical settings (pharmacy and optical) have been required to wear masks since the start of the pandemic as per the government guidelines on clinical workers."
A Waitrose and Partners spokeswoman said: "In line with government advice, it is not compulsory for shop or supermarket staff to wear face coverings, however visors and coverings are available for all Partners should they wish to do so. Partners are encouraged to wear one of these where social distancing cannot be achieved in our shops."
In an email to shoppers, Aldi's CEO Giles Hurley said: "Last week, the Government announced that face coverings will be compulsory in shops in England from 24th July and, for that reason, you will need to wear a face covering to enter one of our stores from this date.
"If you wish to purchase a face covering, they are available to buy at every Aldi store in the UK.
"Even as the country opens up again, I know many are concerned about safety and do not want the steps we are taking to move forward, to mean we take a step backwards in the fight against the virus. It is crucial that we all continue to act safely and responsibly, while also enjoying the little parts of normal life that are gradually returning.
"That is why I want to reassure you that the comprehensive safety measures we put in place at our stores at the start of the pandemic are still very much in place – and will remain so for as long as they are necessary."
Lidl has said: "Wearing a face covering is the responsibility of the individual and should only be enforced by police and council enforcement officers."
"The government have stipulated that shop workers should not refuse entry to customers that are not wearing a face covering."
Those exempt from wearing masks for medicalreasons can obtain a card from the charity Hidden Disabilities, which they can show if challenged over not wearing a mask. Children under the age of 11 are not required to wear masks.
Face coverings will be mandatory in shops, supermarkets, takeaways, railway stations, and airports from Friday.
The rules do not apply restaurants, gyms, and pubs, which means you will need to wear a mask when buying food in a takeaway like Greggs, but not when having a sitdown meal in a pub.
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