// Sainsbury’s and Wilko have asked customers and staff to continue wearing face masks tomorrow despite it no longer being a legal requirement
// Customers in England no longer legally have to wear a mask in shops from Thursday when the Government’s Plan B restrictions end
Sainsbury’s said: “Safety remains our highest priority. From Thursday, we’re asking our customers and colleagues in England to continue to wear a face covering in our stores if they are able to.
“In Scotland and Wales face coverings remain mandatory for those who can wear them in our stores, in line with the latest Government restrictions.
“We continue to have a range of safety measures in all of our stores, including screens and sanitising stations.”
Variety store Wilko has taken a similar stance. A spokesperson said: “While masks will no longer be a legal requirement in England, we’re still recommending face coverings for our team members and customers in busy indoor spaces unless they are exempt.”
John Lewis told the BBC it would be “suggesting people wear masks” in its department stores and Waitrose supermarkets, but added: “It will be down to individuals to make a personal choice.”
When the previous mask-wearing mandate ended in July last year both Sainsbury’s and Tesco asked shoppers to continue wearing coverings.
At the time, Sainsbury’s said its strategy reflected feedback from customers and colleagues, the majority of whom were keen to keep the policy in place.