These are the supermarket and shop rules after lockdown restrictions lift in England

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 3:44 pm
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday (5 July) that lockdown restrictions in England are set to be lifted on 19 July (Photo: Shutterstock)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday (5 July) that lockdown restrictions in England are set to be lifted on 19 July.

This includes social distancing measures and the requirement to wear face masks.

But what does this mean for customers in supermarkets and shops?

Here’s what you need to know.

Prime Minister announces lifting of lockdown restrictions

The Prime Minister announced that nearly all remaining Covid restrictions in England will be removed on 19 July, subject to confirmation on 12 July.

The current legal requirement to wear a face covering in shops, public transport and other enclosed public spaces is also set to end from this date.

Social distancing rules will also be lifted too, which means retailers don't have to keep strict customer limits in place in stores.

However, official advice will say that face coverings should still be worn as a voluntary measure.

The Prime Minister said he would wear a face covering in crowded places and as a matter of courtesy, but he added that in situations such as sitting alone in a train carriage, “people should be entitled to exercise some discretion”.

England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, and the Government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, also said they will continue to wear face masks in certain situations.

Prof Whitty said on Monday he would continue wearing a mask “in any situation that was indoors and was crowded, or indoors and in close proximity to other people”.

What are the rules for wearing face masks in supermarkets?

Supermarkets and retail bosses are currently seeking further government guidance regarding the wearing of face masks.

It is understood that a number of retailers are calling on the Government for more detail before confirming their in-store mask-wearing policies for customers.

The PA news agency understands that supermarket chains Morrisons and Aldi are among the retailers requesting for more detailed guidance regarding masks.

However, the final decision on the relaxation of lockdown restrictions in England will be confirmed on Monday 12 July, with the Government then expected to provide more detailed guidance over these changes.

Retail bosses are hopeful that this will provide clarity, as uncertainty remains following the Prime Minister’s announcement.

Tesco is understood to be currently partaking an internal review into its mask-wearing policy.

The boss of Sainsbury’s, Chief executive Simon Roberts, said he expects that customers will no longer need to wear masks in its stores from 19 July, and that he will consult with staff on their views, but the decision to wear one would be down to individual choice.