Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Waitrose still tell Brits to wear face masks after end of plan B restrictions

Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Waitrose still tell Brits to wear face masks after end of plan B restrictions
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Samantha Haynes

By Samantha Haynes

Published: 27/01/2022

- 12:02

Three of the UK's biggest chains will keep face covering policies in place from today, despite the government lifting Plan B Covid measures across England.

Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Morrisons will keep their face mask policies in place, asking customers to wear a face mask in their supermarkets despite the lifting of Plan B restrictions in England.

The supermarket chains have requested face masks to be worn in stores, although recognise that it will ultimately be up to individuals to make a personal choice.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that masks will remain compulsory on the London Underground and on buses.

This comes after Boris Johnson has ended Plan B coronavirus measures in England on Thursday, with health secretary Sajid Javid promising to "restore more freedoms to this country".

Public health guidance, which suggests people wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where they come in to contact with strangers, will stay in place.

Both Sainsbury’s and John Lewis said their customers will be asked to wear masks, though the latter acknowledged it will ultimately come down to “personal choice”.

A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s 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.”

She said stores “continue to have a range of safety measures… including screens and sanitising stations”.

A spokeswoman for John Lewis and Partners, which includes Waitrose supermarkets, said: “We value the safety of our customers and partners and continue to follow the latest Government guidelines.

“From Thursday January 27, we’ll be suggesting people wear masks in our stores, although it will be down to individuals to make a personal choice.”

A spokeswoman for Morrisons said: “We will be continuing to follow the Government guidelines.”

Usdaw welcomed the retention of Covid-safety measures in some stores.

The shop workers’ union’s general secretary Paddy Lillis said: “It is deeply disappointing that the Government has ploughed on with ending mandatory face coverings in shops tomorrow, despite the concerns of shop workers.

“So we welcome early indications from some in the retail industry that they will keep Covid safety measure in stores, and we hope all retailers will continue to put staff and customer safety first.”

Downing Street said Boris Johnson would “exercise his judgment” on whether to wear a mask.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Like everyone else, it will be a matter of personal judgment, so he will continue to exercise his judgment on where he might find himself.”

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