Matt Frei 10am - 1pm
Asda to crack down on shoppers wearing face masks
23 September 2020, 15:09 | Updated: 23 September 2020, 15:23
Asda is set to enforce stricter rules on face masks and introduce Covid marshals to ensure customers are wearing them in store amid a tightening of restrictions across the country.
If customers are not wearing masks, they will be told they can buy a pack of disposable masks and pay for them as part of their shopping trip, the supermarket chain has announced.
Face coverings must be worn by customers in shops, supermarkets and shopping centres around the UK.
Those who fail to do so can be fined by the police - up to £100 in England (which is soon to rise to £200 under new coronavirus guidelines), or £60 in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Following the recent change in Government guidance, all Asda store colleagues in England, Wales and Scotland will now wear a covering while at work unless they have a medical exemption, the supermarket added.
Asda also announced it will introduce 1,000 new Covid-19 marshals on the doors of its supermarkets to ensure customers wear masks properly and follow stricter Government guidelines over the pandemic.
The Asda Safety Marshals are to be stationed at the front of every store and in the aisles of larger stores.
Bosses said they expect the staff to be able to help shoppers with safety questions and to reiterate Government guidelines.
Extra hand sanitiser stations will be provided in the busiest parts of the stores and protective coatings will be applied to all basket and trolley handles.
Anthony Hemmerdinger, chief operating officer at Asda, said: "We know that safety remains a key priority for our customers and we will continue to do all we can to keep them and our colleagues safe in store, as we have since the start of the pandemic.
"These additional measures will make our stores an even safer place to shop and work during the coming months."
The move comes after rival Morrisons said it had reinstated marshals on the doors of its 494 supermarkets.
Supermarkets were granted "essential" status during the lockdown in March, leading to long queues and strict social distancing, although over time the rules were relaxed and enforcement reduced.