Sainsburys and Waitrose say keep wearing masks despite changing Covid rules

Customers at two of the UK's leading supermarkets are being asked to wear masks despite the changing rules being implemented by the government tomorrow.

Sainsbury's and Waitrose are asking people to continue to wear a face covering in their stores when restrictions ease in England on Thursday.

A Sainsbury's spokesperson said: "Safety remains our highest priority.

"From Thursday, we're asking our customers and colleagues in England to continue to wear a face covering in our stores if they are able to.

"In Scotland and Wales face coverings remain mandatory for those who can wear them in our stores, in line with the latest government restrictions."

They added: "We continue to have a range of safety measures in all of our stores, including screens and sanitising stations."

John Lewis and sister company Waitrose are also "suggesting" customers and staff should wear a face covering when inside their stores.

Another high street giant, electronics specialists Currys, is asking staff to wear masks in-store. A release from the company said it would "continue to assess our approach based on infection rates and colleague feedback".

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USDAW, the retail workers’ trade union is also urging shoppers to "observe Covid safety measures”as much as possible in order to protect its 360,000 members. The union said said that the Government's move to end the measure was "deeply disappointing" while infections rates "remain high".

General secretary Paddy Lillis said: "We hope all retailers will continue to put staff and customer safety first.

"Wearing a face covering is an important measure to help protect workers who have no option but to interact with the public."

London mayor Sadiq Khan has also insisted that PM Boris Johnson’s relaxation of Covid rules is premature. He has asked commuters to still wear masks on public transport.

"Wearing a face covering is one of the single most important and easiest things we can all do to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

"The Government should rethink their plans and keep legislation in place.”

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