Sainsbury’s supermarkets will enforce people to wear a mask and shop alone.
The company has asked shoppers to play their part in keeping everyone safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said:
“I’ve spent a lot of time in our stores reviewing the latest situation over the last few days and on behalf of all my colleagues, I am asking our customers to help us keep everyone safe.
“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.
“Everyone’s care and consideration matters now more than ever.”
The supermarket chain said it would use trained security guards to challenge people not wearing a mask and those shopping in groups.
Earlier Morrisons enforced a similar position.
David Potts, CEO, 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.”
The Government is worried that supermarkets are a vector for the virus spreading.
Newly appointed vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said:
“We are concerned that, for example, in supermarkets we need to make sure people actually wear masks and follow the one-way rule in supermarkets.
“And, of course, when they are at capacity – to operate safely, people wait outside supermarkets.
“We don’t want to go any tougher, because this is a pretty tough lockdown.”
Shop staff have also been the target of verbal and physical abuse when they ask people to wear masks.
Andrew Opie, a director at the British Retail Consortium, said:
“Sadly, (enforcing mask rules) has led to a sharp rise in incidents of violence and abuse against shop workers, which is why it is essential police support the work being done by retailers.”