Nick Ferrari asked Minister: "Why do we have to wear a mask, but shelf stackers don't?"

24 July 2020, 09:54

By Adrian Sherling

Nick Ferrari asked Care Minister Helen Whately to explain why he has to wear a mask in a supermarket, but the shelf stackers don't.

It is mandatory for people in England to wear face coverings in shops as the government aim to get businesses back up and running again following the lockdown.

But Nick Ferrari wanted to know why he had to wear a mask, why the cashiers in a supermarket had to wear a mask, but the shelf stackers didn't.

He asked Ms Whately: "I am required to wear a mask if I go into a supermarket such as Sainsbury's or Asda or Waitrose. But the staff working along the aisles don't. What's the thinking behind that?"

The Care Minister responded: "You're right that this policy is for the public so just before you go into a shop, you should put your mask on and wear it when you're doing your shop and then you can take it off afterwards.

"Employers themselves have put in place already the measures they need to take to keep staff and customers safe. So for example, when you're in a supermarket, many supermarkets have put up perspex screens."

But Nick asked again: "Yes, but what I don't understand is the man or the woman who's stacking the beans or the frozen veg, he or she does not have to wear a mask, while their colleagues on the checkout and I as a customer do.

"Why is it that if you're stacking the rhubarb you don't have to wear a mask, but if you're buying it, you do?

"Surely everyone must wear a mask, even the man or the woman stacking shelves."

Nick Ferrari quizzed Helen Whately about the facemask rules
Nick Ferrari quizzed Helen Whately about the facemask rules. Picture: LBC

Ms Whately insisted: "Employers have looked incredibly carefully at what they need to do to make sure they are keeping their staff and their customers safe.

"They are putting in place the right measures."

That made Nick point out: "So it's right they don't wear a mask? I'm confused."

Watch the full clip at the top of the page.