Although no longer a legal requirement from Monday 19th July 2021 – known as freedom day – supermarkets and other stores have new suggested guidelines about face masks.
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The lockdown easing is coming to an end.
It was announced earlier this week that crowds could meet up, people don’t have to work from home anymore, nightclubs would be open, and face masks would no longer be a thing.
But, although the legal requirement has gone, ministers are still recommending that people wear face masks or coverings in busy places like trains, trams and buses.
What does this mean for supermarkets?
Although the decision about face masks is essentially up to us, here’s what the major supermarkets are expecting and planning from next week.
In England, Aldi is going to encourage people to continue wearing masks when shopping.
However, they are not going to enforce this as a rule.
They are going to keep offering hand sanitiser, and screens are checkout will remain.
For Scotland and Wales, staff and customers are still required to wear masks as there is different legislation.
If you wish to wear one and have forgotten it, Asda will have face covering at the front of the store for you to pick one up.
They will also encourage you to wear them through signage in store and announcements on the Asda radio in store.
Lidl is following government guidelines and suggests people continue to wear a face covering.
They will have signs up at the store entrance.
Sainsbury’s is suggesting that staff and shoppers carry on wearing face coverings if they feel comfortable.
Tesco will continue to have safety measures in place in their stores and will limit how many people can be in store at any one time.
They will still use protective screens at the tills and have regular cleaning stations and hand sanitiser.
Along with John Lewis, Waitrose recommends customers and their partners continue to wear a face covering.
Morrisons and M&S have not given any guidance on their plans from freedom day onwards.
Whatever store you shop in, regardless of their own rules, if you are exempt from wearing a face mask, there are still no expectations that you need to wear one.