UK Supermarkets Ask Shoppers To Keep Wearing Masks

By Reuters
July 15, 2021 Updated: July 15, 2021

LONDON—Britain’s biggest supermarket groups will encourage staff and customers to keep wearing face coverings from Monday despite new rules making it a matter of personal choice.

The government is removing most pandemic restrictions from July 19 in England, saying a rapid rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has largely broken the link between infections and serious illness or death.

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Aldi all said they would prefer staff and customers to keep wearing masks.

Epoch Times Photo
A woman wearing a mask pushes a shopping cart at a Tesco supermarket in Hatfield, United Kingdom, on Oct. 6, 2020. (Peter Cziborra/Reuters)

The groups—who are among Britain’s biggest private sector employers—said they would keep other safety measures in place, including limits on the number of people in stores, protective screens at checkouts, and regular cleaning.

“We’re asking our customers and colleagues to be on the safe side,” Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket group, said.

An opinion poll published on Thursday by Kantar Public found two thirds of people wanted some, most, or all of the coronavirus restrictions to remain, and 60 percent thought everyone should continue to wear masks in shops and on public transport.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has acknowledged that a wave of infections is inevitable when restrictions end, but said worse harm would come from keeping the economy shut and pointed to the successful vaccine rollout.

Government advice is that people should still wear masks in crowded areas. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said they will remain mandatory on the capital’s public transport network.

By James Davey