Government discusses in-store face coverings with retailers’ groups

Importance of a very clear “personal responsibility” message stressed



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4 August 2020 | 0

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The Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association (CSNA) reports the Department for Business Enterprise and Jobs recently sought its views on the subject of face coverings in retail outlets.

The CSNA said it is anticipated that the publication by the Department of Health of the regulations providing for the mandatory wearing will not create a legal obligation on retailers or their staff to enforce these rules. Nevertheless, the association said it is eager to see the draft regulations in advance.

The association added that members will be relieved to know that there will be provision for a staff member to ask a prospective purchaser of an age-controlled product to remove or lower their face covering to confirm their identity to be that of the ID card presented.

CSNA has also stressed the importance of a very clear “personal responsibility” message as well as another message suggesting that neither the store or staff have a legal duty to enforce compliance.

RGDATA director general Tara Buckley also took part in a Retail Forum Conference call with Department of Business officials to discuss the options that are being considered with regard to the regulations to make face coverings in shops mandatory.

RGDATA stressed that although the government is requesting that people wear face coverings in shops, the measure is not mandatory until the Statutory Instrument is passed. It is not clear when the draft regulations will be ready, RGDATA states, but the Retail Forum will get further opportunities to review them. The Retail Forum has requested direct consultations with the Department of Health on the drafting of the regulations.

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