// Usdaw warns against relaxing face mask measures in shops
// It has written to the Business Secretary to say there was no reason why face coverings & social distancing in shops can’t continue
// Unions representing transport staff and workers in bank branches have also voiced safety fears as restrictions end on July 19
The government is coming under increasing pressure from unions representing workers across the UK to reverse plans to end compulsory face coverings on July 19.
Usdaw, which represents shop workers, is the latest union to warn against relaxing measures which have been in place for over a year.
Usdaw has written to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng saying there was no reason why requirements to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing in busy public areas like shops cannot continue.
- Mask rule change risks rise in abuse towards shop workers – BRC
- Grocers seek clarity over mask-wearing after July 19
General secretary Paddy Lillis said: “The government should not be weakening safety measures in shops at the same time as opening up other venues.
“Retailers may be able to attempt to enforce their own face covering policies, but in the absence of a legal requirement, as has already been highlighted by the BRC, this is likely to result in further significant increases in abuse, threats and violence towards retail workers.
“Wearing a face covering in crowded public areas like shops is not merely a personal choice, it is an important measure to help protect workers who have no option but to interact with large numbers of people as a part of their job.”
Lillis said many retail workers were at a greater risk of catching the virus.
“Supermarket workers and delivery drivers have worked throughout the pandemic to keep the country supplied with essentials,” he said.
“These key workers must be valued, respected and protected.”
Unions representing transport staff and workers in bank branches have also voiced safety fears as restrictions end on July 19.
with PA Wires