UK police will back up supermarkets in enforcing COVID rules - minister

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's policing minister Kit Malthouse said police would intervene in serious breaches of COVID rules in shops, but measures imposed and enforced by owners would be effective in most cases.

"The police are there if you like for backup if things get seriously wrong," he told BBC News on Tuesday.

"What we hope is that in the vast majority of cases the enforcement, or the reminders if you like, put in place by the store owners will be enough."

Retailers called on the police to help enforce the wearing of masks to limit the spread of COVID-19 on Monday, with supermarket chains Morrisons and Sainsbury's saying they would challenge people who were flouting the rules.

(Reporting by Sarah Young and Paul Sandle, editing by Estelle Shirbon)