Iceland supermarket boss says his staff WON'T force shoppers to wear masks – despite new Covid rules being introduced

ICELAND supermarket WON'T be forcing their shoppers to wear masks, despite the new Covid rules being introduced this week.

The supermarket chain's boss said that he won't be asking staff to enforce the new restrictions as they focus on the "long-term recovery of the high street."

Richard Walker, the managing director of Iceland, said his staff on shop floors could not be asked to intervene when they spot someone not wearing a mask.

Staff won't be policing anti-maskers in their shops, he said.

He told the Daily Mail: "We fully support the reintroduction of compulsory face masks in shops, however, we won't be asking our store colleagues to police it.

"Our store teams, alongside all retail workers, have shown heroic efforts in terms of ensuring safety for customers and building back consumer confidence and it's crucial that we stay focused on the long-term recovery of the high street.

"We need to continue to encourage people to shop in stores if they feel comfortable, and I'm hopeful that the latest guidelines won't discourage customers from doing so."

Co-op also said that they would not be enforcing face coverings in their stores – nor would they refuse to serve a customer without one.

The British Retail Consortium said it's up to the police to enforce the measure, adding: "Customers are asked to respect the rules and be considerate to their fellow shoppers and to hard-working shop staff."

Meanwhile, Brits who flout a new mask rule on public transport and shops could be fined under a new Government crackdown following the first confirmed cases of the “worst ever” Covid variant.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that compulsory masks will be reintroduced in England from Tuesday to help tackle the Omicron super-strain.

It comes after Boris Johnson ordered the return of masks and for contacts of anyone infected with the variant to self-isolate for 10 days.

Face masks on shops and public transport stopped being a legal requirement in England on July 19.

For almost a year, people had to mask up on public transport and in shops and pubs or face up to a £6,400 fine.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr, Mr Javid confirmed that people who refuse to wear masks will be hit with new sanctions.

The BBC host asked: "This is a new rule which is in place now and people who don't obey that, people who go into shops without masks can be fined, will be fined?"


As Mr Javid swerved the question, the BBC presenter pressed him: "Are you insisting as a government that everybody going into a shop wears a mask? And are you going to take sanctions on people who refuse to?"

Mr Javid replied: "Yes, it will be a legal requirement by government regulations to wear masks in shops and public transport."

But face coverings won't be compulsory in hospitality settings such as pubs or restaurants.

MPs will vote on the new restrictions within 28 days after legislation is placed before the Commons tomorrow.

Masks have remained compulsory on London's Tube system, but Transport for London figures show only 108 people out of the millions who travel on the capital's underground network were removed for not wearing face coverings.

Under the Government's new raft of travel restrictions, anyone arriving in the UK must take a day-two PCR tests and self-isolate until the results arrive, with 10 countries slapped on the red list.

Mr Javid said there had been no more confirmed Omicron cases in the UK, but admitted "there may well be more".

But he insisted Britain is "nowhere near" full lockdown and Christmas will be "great", with the new measures set to be reviewed in three weeks.

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