'Public complacency over Covid is putting shop workers at risk'

12 January 2021, 18:56

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The shop workers' union has been "inundated" with calls from retail staff expressing concerns over public complacency around Covid.

Speaking to LBC's Eddie Mair, Paddy Lillis the General Secretary of USDAW set out some of the concerns of his members around coronavirus rules.

Mr Lillis told LBC his members had been calling to express their worries over a lack of social distancing in the work place and some members of the public refusing to wear masks.

He said there has been "a real complacency slipping in over the last couple of weeks."

Read more: Police 'make no apology' for issuing almost 45,000 Covid fines

He said there were hundreds of thousands of shop workers who had worked through the Covid pandemic to "serve the community" and that they were being "put at risk."

"They deserve better," he told Eddie.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference Home Secretary Priti Patel said a minority of the public are "putting the health of the nation at risk" as she backed a tougher police approach to lockdown rules.

Read more: 2.6 million Covid-19 vaccination jabs given in UK as PM warns of 'perilous moment'

Supermarkets have remained open through the pandemic
Supermarkets have remained open through the pandemic. Picture: PA

Watch: London patients queue for Covid vaccine in near-freezing temperatures

The conversation comes after a string of supermarkets pledged to get tougher with customers who refuse to wear face coverings with Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick saying her officers would be prepared to assist shop staff if customers became "obstructive and aggressive" when told they must wear a face covering.

Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons have all outlined a stricter approach to masks in their stores.