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Morrisons was the first to ban customers from not wearing masks outright were previously supermarkets had simply asked customers to wear masks. Morrisons shoppers will not be allowed to enter stores without masks unless they are medically exempt.
The supermarket made a statement addressing the issue.
Morrisons chief executive David Potts said: “Those who are offered a face covering and decline to wear one won’t be allowed to shop at Morrisons unless they are medically exempt.
“Our store colleagues are working hard to feed you and your family, please be kind.”
Beforehand supermarkets were encouraging the use of masks in stores but were not enforcing their use.
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Sainsbury’s added its voice to Morrisons later last night, announcing it would also be making masks mandatory.
The supermarket will place trained security at its store entrances to question any shoppers not wearing masks.
Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts said: “The vast majority of customers are shopping safely, but I have also seen some customers trying to shop without a mask and shopping in larger family groups.
“Please help us to keep all our colleagues and customers safe by always wearing a mask and by shopping alone.”
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What about Britain’s other supermarkets?
Tesco is not yet looking at imposing the rules further.
It said it would not challenge shoppers without masks directly.
On Twitter, the store said: “The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority and we already have extensive social distancing measures in our stores to ensure everyone can shop safely with us.
“We are asking all our customers to wear a face covering when visiting our stores and have prominent signs in place to inform customers of the rules.
“However, there may be some customers who are unable to wear a face covering for medical or safety reasons and we have asked our colleagues to respect that and to not challenge them directly.”
On its website, Aldi currently states: “The health and safety of our employees, customers and the communities we serve will always be our highest priority.
“With that focus in mind, face coverings are required to enter all ALDI stores.”
“Wearing a face covering in our stores is mandatory in Scotland, England and Wales in line with Government regulations, to help keep everyone safe,” Lidl states.
“Our colleagues may remind customers of the requirement to wear a face covering in our stores.
“However, we understand that some customers are exempt from doing so.
“Forgotten your mask? Don’t worry, these are available to pick up at the entrance of our stores, to then purchase at the till when you complete your shop.”
Asda’s website states: “On Friday 24th July, the Government’s new rules on face coverings were introduced in England and all customers are required to wear a face covering when they visit one of our stores.”
What are the exemptions for wearing a mask?
Children under the age of 11 do not need to wear masks, neither do people who can’t wear them because of “a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability.”
This includes people for whom a face covering would cause severe distress.
It is not a legal requirement to carry an exemption card, although you may want to do so.
If you wish you can download one from the Government’s website.
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