Sainsbury's joins Morrisons in mask policy and puts security guards on doors

SAINSBURY’S has followed in Morrisons’ footsteps and banned shoppers who refuse to wear Covid face masks, enforced by security guards at the doors. Following a successful trial over the weekend, the supermarket will this week put trained security guards at the front of stores to challenge those who are not wearing a mask or who are shopping in groups. The chain has also reduced the number of customers allowed into stores and will have more staff at the front, supporting with cleaning and social distancing.

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.” It comes as policing minister Kit Malthouse said all supermarkets should follow in Morrisons’ footsteps to enforce the wearing of masks in stores. When asked why he thought supermarkets have not done it so far, he told Times Radio this morning: “I think that, understandably, following the November lockdown there was an element of release and therefore the person at the door, the sanitation station, the traffic light system, the queues outside obviously receded a bit.

“What we hope now, and I know all of them will, that they’ll see their responsibility and start to put those things back in place.” When asked whether police should intervene, he said some officers have issued fines in retail settings, adding: “What we hope is the vast majority of people, or everybody, will be encouraged to do so by the shop owner.” Morrisons yesterday announced a ban on customers who do not wear face masks will unless they are exempt.

Morrisons says it is strengthening its policy on masks, meaning anyone entering a store without a mask will not be able to shop unless they have a medical exemption. The move comes as pressure mounts for supermarkets to revert to more stringent in-store measures due to staff safety concerns. Stronger enforcement of coronavirus rules is “necessary”, Matt Hancock said, as he praised police and supermarkets for stepping up their efforts.

The Health Secretary added: “It isn’t just about the Government and the rules we set, or the police and the work that they do – it’s about how everybody behaves.

“I applaud the action Morrisons has taken today, the supermarket, they have said that they will not let people in without a mask unless they clearly have a medical reason.

“That’s the right approach and I want to see all parts of society playing their part in this.”

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