The Government has confirmed that face coverings will have to be worn in shops and supermarkets from Friday 24th July – but the Police say they simply can’t enforce it.
Islanders who go against the new rules could be fined £100 – reduced to £50 if paid within 2 weeks – but this will be policed by Hampshire Constabulary, not shop workers. However, John Apter, the chairman of the Police Federation, has said there simply isn’t enough Police officers to carry out the task.
There are some exceptions to wearing a face covering – children under 11 are not required to wear a mask or covering, nor are those with certain disabilities including those who have difficulty due to a mental disability.
The idea is to not only protect those who work in retail but to instil more confidence in shoppers to really kick-start the economy and potentially save the High Street.
Those who do not wear a face covering can be refused entry into a premises.
Face coverings are already compulsory on public transport and Islanders have to wear face coverings when visiting the hospital or doctors. This latest development will bring England in line with Scotland and European countries such as Spain and Italy.
Speaking earlier today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“In recent weeks, we have reopened retail. We want to give more confidence.
“Sales assistants, cashiers and security gaurds have suffered disproportionally in this crisis. As we restore shopping, so we must keep our shop keepers safe”.
A spokesperson for Downing Street has said:
“There is growing evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from coronavirus.
“The prime minister has been clear that people should be wearing face coverings in shops and we will make this mandatory from 24 July.”