Concerns over mandatory wearing of face coverings in Scotland’s shops

Shop workers across Scotland have raised concerns about the introduction of mandatory face coverings in stores.

Shop workers are worried that they will be expected to turn people away from the store because they do not have a face covering or it is not being worn properly. Photo: Lisa Ferguson
Shop workers are worried that they will be expected to turn people away from the store because they do not have a face covering or it is not being worn properly. Photo: Lisa Ferguson

Retail trade union Usdaw said it has received “numerous calls” from concerned members after the Scottish Government announced that face coverings will be mandatory in shops from this Friday (July 10).

Usdaw officials met with government ministers on Monday, July 6, to urge the retention of the two-metre rule and seek assurances that shop workers will not have to enforce the wearing of face coverings.

Usdaw is now concerned that Government guidance has not yet been published.

Commenting Usdaw’s Scottish Divisional Officer Stewart Forrest said: “Our big concern is who enforces mandatory face coverings and we made that clear to the Scottish Government on Monday.

“Shop workers are worried that they will be expected to turn people away from the store because they do not have a face covering or it is not being worn properly. Incidents of abuse against shop workers have already doubled through the coronavirus emergency and this would be yet another flashpoint.

“Government guidance has not yet been published and that is a concern when we are so close to the new face coverings rule coming into force on Friday. We need assurances that the existing two-metre rule will be observed and enforced. In our experience retailers have taken the two-metre rule seriously and are complying, we see no reason why it should be relaxed.

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“Safety in stores needs customer co-operation and we urge the public to respect staff and observe social distancing. At no time should abuse be a part of the job. Shopworkers deserve respect.”