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The Government has announced a package of new measures to help slow the spread of Covid-19, including a rule that retail staff throughout England will be required to wear face coverings.
Although Wales and Scotland have required members of staff on the shop floor to wear a mask, in England, the use of a face covering has not been mandatory. The regulation will come into effect from the 24th September.
James Lowman, the chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said he was seeking “urgent clarification” from the Government over the new rules. “Convenience store retailers and colleagues have already made significant changes to the way that they operate, installing screens at till points, limiting the number of customers in-store and implementing a range of other measures to ensure that their businesses are Covid secure.
“We are seeking urgent clarification from the Government on exemptions for colleagues, especially those who may be unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons, and will work with members to help them comply with the new measures ahead of their introduction on Thursda y.”
Meanwhile, Stuart Reddish, national president of the Federation of Independent Retailers, said that while the new legislation would likely cause some inconvenience to store works, it was “in everyone’s best interest” to help stop the spread of the virus.
The prime minister warned that those skirting the new regulations could face fines of up to £10,000.
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