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Morrisons and Sainsbury's to ban customers refusing to wear a face covering in store

Two supermarkets have vowed to ban customers who refuse to wear face coverings in stores.

From Monday, Morrisons has warned shoppers who refuse to wear a face covering that they will not be allowed inside, unless medically exempt.

Sainsbury's has also said it would challenge those not wearing a face covering and those shopping in groups.

Stamford's Morrisons store
Stamford's Morrisons store

It comes following concerns social distancing measures are not being adhered to in supermarkets.

Morrisons said though it had consistently maintained thorough safety measures, it was strengthening its policy on masks.

Chief executive David Potts said: "Those who are offered a face covering and decline to wear one won't be allowed to shop at Morrisons unless they are medically exempt.

"Our store colleagues are working hard to feed you and your family, please be kind."

Sainsbury's said it was also putting trained security guards at the front of its stores to challenge shoppers.

Chief executive Simon Roberts 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."

Enforcement of face coverings is the responsibility of the police, not retailers. Wearing face masks in supermarkets and shops is compulsory across the UK.

In England, the police can issue a £200 fine to someone breaking the face covering rules.

In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, a £60 fine can be imposed. Repeat offenders face bigger fines.

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