Harrogate shoppers face being challenged if not wearing a facemask
As speculation grows that the Government may toughen up the current lockdown, Harrogate shoppers at Sainsburys have been urged to follow the rules or be challenged.
As Health Secretary Matt Hancock warns that tighter lockdown measures cannot be ruled out and the Government's policing minister confirms a pledge by police that rule-breakers are "increasingly likely" to be fined, Sainsbury's chief executive Simon Roberts has issued an update to the store's shoppers.
He is urging shoppers to wear a mask or visor and shop alone in all Sainsbury's stores.
Mr Roberts' statement said: "I have spent a lot of time in our stores over the past few days and I need to ask for your help with two key issues to keep you and all my colleagues safe.
"When shopping in our stores, you must wear a mask or visor unless you have a medical exemption. And you should also shop on your own. Thank you for your support.
"Security guards will support our colleagues at the front of store and will challenge customers who are not wearing masks or who are shopping in groups.
"I know you’ll understand and support what we are trying to do.
"We have also significantly reduced the number of customers allowed in our stores at any one time to ensure social distancing is maintained at all times.
"Together, these steps will go a long way to keep everyone safe, whether you are shopping or working with us."
Sainsbury's is not the only major food store to get tougher on the rules this week as infection rates soar.
Morrisons has also said it will bar customers who refuse to wear face coverings from its shops.
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."
But there is still confusion over whether shop staff or, even, the police will actually enforce the new policies.
Both the police and shops staff unions oppose their members enforcing mask-wearing in supermarkets.
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