Responding to reports that face coverings will become mandatory in shops in England from July 24, Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said although retailers will play their part, they should not have to enforce the rules.
Dickinson explains: “Retailers have made the safety of staff and customers their top priority and we support measures aimed at protecting the health of the public.
“While retailers will play their part in communicating the new rules on face coverings, they must not be the ones enforcing these rules. With hundreds of incidents of violence and abuse directed at retail staff every day, we welcome the announcement that enforcement will be left to the authorities, rather than potentially putting hardworking retail colleagues in harm’s way.”
She continued: “We look forward to further clarity over whether the wearing of face coverings will apply to shop staff. If so, there must be flexibility for colleagues who are in stores all day and can already benefit from other safety measures such as protective screens and 2m distancing.”
Adding: “Retailers have already spent hundreds of millions installing perspex screens, implementing social distancing measures and providing additional cleaning in stores; we hope this announcement will make shoppers feel even more confident about returning to the high street.”