// Co-op staff wear face masks before it is compulsory to encourage use
// Some retailers have raised concern that the mandatory wearing of face coverings could lead to confrontations
Central England Co-op staff have began wearing face coverings ahead of government implementation in an effort to encourage customers to use them.
From Friday, face coverings will become compulsory for customers to wear them in stores.
Co-op staff at over 400 food stores have donned face coverings as the retailer hopes customers will embrace the practice.
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“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our colleagues and customers,” Central England Co-op chief executive Debbie Robinson said.
“Ahead of the official start date for customers to wear face coverings in shops, we will be asking colleagues to do so from July 20,” she said.
“This is to ensure the message is as clear and consistent as possible for everyone.
“Some customers are rightly exempt from this request, for health or religious reasons. We have made these exemptions very clear on our website and all team members will be reminded of these important exemptions.
“We now ask all of our customers to wear a face covering so we know together we’re co-operating in our efforts to be safe.”
The new measures on wearing face coverings will sit alongside a range of others already in place at Central England Co-op sites.
Nevertheless, some retailers have raised concern that the mandatory wearing of face coverings could lead to confrontations between some shoppers and staff.
While retailers cannot enforce the policy, they are making effort to encourage the use of face coverings.