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BRC says more detailed guidance on face coverings for retailers is now “overdue”

Tom Bottomley
23 July 2020

As the clock ticks towards it becoming mandatory for customers to wear face coverings when visiting shops in England from tomorrow, Friday 24 July, 2020, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) is calling on the government to “urgently” publish regulations and more detailed guidance for retailers, as they were told to expect.

In a statement, the BRC said the more detailed guidance is “now very urgently needed so that all necessary preparations can be made.”

Tom Ironside, director of business and regulation at the BRC, commented: “Retailers are doing all they can to support necessary safety regulations and will play their role in communicating and encouraging the government’s new policy on face coverings.

“While enforcement of this policy will be handled by the police, the ultimate responsibility remains with customers who must ensure that they wear a face covering when going into stores. Our shopping experience is changing, and we ask customers to be respectful and considerate when the new rules come into force tomorrow.

Failure to comply with the new face covering rule in shops can result in a £100 fine, unless the individual is unable to wear a face covering, such as young children or those with underlying health conditions.

Ironside added: “The regulations and more detailed guidance that the government has told us to expect is now overdue. Every passing hour limits the time that retailers have to implement the new guidance.

“Government communications with the general public must be managed effectively to ensure everyone understands the reasons for these changes. It is vital that consumers are confident enough to return to their high streets, as demand remains low despite the lifting of lockdown. If sales and footfall fail to recover quickly, the government should urgently consider steps to boost demand or else we will see many more shop closures and subsequent job losses.”

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