Wearing face masks inside supermarkets will become compulsory tomorrow.
Anyone who is found not wearing a face mask, unless exempt because of any disability, illness or impairment, could be fined £100.
Although the official government guidelines are now upon us, many customers are still uncertain about exactly how it will work in different shops.
Supermarkets Sainsbury’s and Aldi have both now issued updates ahead of the rule change.
Sainsbury’s has moved to clarify where it stands ahead of face masks being made compulsory in all shops in the UK from Friday, July 24.
The supermarket giant took to its official Twitter account to clear up its stance on facial coverings being worn in stores.
Supermarket staff are not required to wear face coverings, but the rules state customers will be required to use coverings from this weekend.
Despite the new guidelines, Sainsbury’s told Twitter users: “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.”
The statement from Sainsbury’s seemingly left some shoppers impressed, as one person wrote: “Well done Sainsbury’s”, and many others agreed.
Another commented: “Brilliant. I hope this is the policy across all Sainsbury’s stores.
“Those with hidden disabilities mustn’t feel embarrassed or shamed if they are unable to wear a mask.”
Aldi has issued advice to customers in light of the new face mask rules which will soon come into effect officially.
In an email to shoppers, CEO Giles Hurley said: “Last week, the Government announced that face coverings will be compulsory in shops in England from July 24 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.”
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These new safety measures include:
• A traffic light system at store entrances to accurately manage the number of people in stores at any one time
• Protective screens at all 7,000 of our checkouts
• Social distancing markers in store
• NHS, blue light and vulnerable priority access hour
• Clear signs throughout stores that advise customers on how to shop safely, in line with the latest Government guidance
• Contactless payments increased to £45
Mr Hurley said Aldi is doing everything it can to keep shoppers safe, and has urged customers to maintain a safe distance from others, shop by themselves where possible and try to use contactless payments.
He continued: “We know many of our customers will still need additional support as the coronavirus situation changes.
“To those vulnerable customers, please rest assured that the measures we have introduced to give you safe access to affordable food, such as early opening times from Monday to Saturday, will continue and our home delivery grocery parcels are still available to purchase.
“We are also trialling an on-demand grocery home delivery for the first time in partnership with Deliveroo to help those who cannot currently visit our stores.”
He added in the email to shoppers: “Responding to the pandemic has brought out the very best in us all and I am impressed daily by the efforts of both our colleagues and customers to keep each other safe.
“It has been heartwarming to see customers remembering that not all disabilities and health conditions are visible, and being considerate of others who may not be able to socially distance or wear a mask.”