Supermarkets face calls to enforce strict lockdown rules, including masking and social distancing, as staff are abused and shoppers' willingness to abide by public health guidelines has collapsed.
During the initial lockdown, supermarkets across the country had strict measures such as bouncers and marshals, one-way systems and traffic light systems.
They began to go away as the Covid-19 threat subsided over the summer, leading to an increasingly "careless" attitude from shoppers who stopped wearing masks or kept their distance.
Shop workers have even announced that they are being abused by customers for encouraging them to wear masks, raising concerns that supermarkets have stopped enforcing Covid rules.
The major UK supermarkets are now facing public calls for bouncers to visibly enforce the lockdown rules. Morrison promises to ban shoppers who refuse to wear masks from entering their stores.
The food giant – the UK's fourth largest supermarket chain with around 500 stores in the country – announced that it would take hardline action when "mutated" Covid pervades the nation.
Shop workers union, Usdaw, said it was "inundated" with complaints from its members about abuse from its members during the pandemic, calling for supermarkets and grocery retailers to return to "tight" restrictions.
High street chains like Tesco, Sainsbury & # 39; s and Waitrose insisted that Covid safety remains their "top priority" and said customers would be regularly reminded to abide by the rules.
But today shocking examples of rule violations were seen in the big brand stores when Boris Johnson warned of "complacency" and urged people to abide by the restrictions.
Pictured: a young man without a face mask in an Asda supermarket in south east London during the third lockdown
People who do not wear masks properly and find themselves under their chin in an Asda in south east London, England
There were people in Tesco stores today who didn't wear masks even though the rules told buyers unless they were exempt
Also, due to the number of shoppers in stores, some supermarkets made it difficult to observe social distancing
Members of the public lamented the mask situation in supermarkets in a series of online posts on Twitter
Face Covering: Who Is Exempt?
Children under the age of 11 and people who are unable to wear a face covering due to a mental or physical illness are exempt from wearing masks.
Also excluded are people who need to speak to or help someone who reads lips or who need a clear tone and / or facial expression to communicate.
Carrying an exemption card or ID is, according to the government, a "personal choice" and "not required by law".
If you have a reason for age, health or disability not to wear a mask, you are "not required to provide routine written evidence" and "do not provide an exemption card".
The full list of exceptions can be found Here.
The Prime Minister said today: “We have to enforce the rules in supermarkets. When people get takeaway drinks in cafes, they need to avoid spreading the disease there and avoid mixing too much. & # 39;
In a statement released today, Morrisons said that since last year, he has "implemented and consistently maintained thorough and robust security measures in all of our stores."
But it added, "As of today, we continue to strengthen our policy on masks." This shows that the security guards of the UK's fourth largest supermarket chain will enforce the new rules.
Enforcement of face masks is the responsibility of the police, not the retailer. Wearing face masks in supermarkets and shops is mandatory across the UK.
In England, the police can fine someone who breaks the face-covering rules. A fine of £ 60 can be imposed in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Repeat offenders can expect higher fines.
Morrisons General Manager David Potts announced, “Those who are offered face-covering and who do not wish to wear one are not allowed to shop at Morrisons unless they are medically exempt.
"Our business colleagues work hard to feed you and your family. Please be kind."
Praising Morrison for imposing a blanket masking rule, Matt Hancock said at a press conference on Downing Street, “It's not just about the government and the rules we make, or the police and the work they do perform – it's about how everyone behaves.
“I applaud the action Morrisons has taken in the supermarket today. They have said they will not let people in without a mask unless they clearly have a medical reason. That is the right approach and I want all parts of society to play their part. & # 39;
Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi expressed concern over the public's failure to comply with measures taken by supermarkets and suggested that restrictions may be tightened.
"I worry about supermarkets and people who actually wear masks, follow the one-way system and make sure they wait outside the supermarket when capacity is full," he said.
Shop workers are reported to be mistreated by customers who do not wear masks. Skye Henson, a 23-year-old Lincoln supermarket clerk, said people took the first ban "much more seriously," claiming "we're lucky when the people are." wear masks now.
She told BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, “A good 30 percent of the people who come into our store aren't wearing masks and just don't think that's a problem. They don't see us as in any danger, so I think a lot of it is the public who are putting us at risk. & # 39;
Usdaw General Secretary Paddy Lillis said, "Retail workers work with the public every day and not only suffer from increased abuse but are deeply concerned about the catch of Covid-19.
Grocery shopping is one of the reasons Brits are allowed to leave their homes during the third national crisis
The coronavirus rules stipulate that people are not allowed to wear a mask if they suffer from an illness that excludes them
Vendors remind customers to wear masks in the grocery store, although some may be exempt from it for medical reasons
Supermarket coronavirus rules apply
Sainsbury & # 39; s
Face masks are mandatory in the store unless the buyer is medically exempt from wearing them.
There are also plastic security bars, hand sanitizer, and signs encouraging customers to socially distance themselves.
The store also has timed slots for the elderly or vulnerable to purchase their goods.
Marks & Spencer
M&S has hand disinfection and disposable systems and a face mask rule.
Larger stores have restricted purchases of non-essential goods.
There is also a booking process that allows people to reserve a slot store to go shopping.
Morrison & # 39; s advised staff to refuse entry to shoppers who have no medical reason not to wear a face mask.
They also have a specialized next day delivery service for those who cannot come to a store in person.
The store also has an NHS priority time that key staff members can buy groceries.
Asda, like others, has a face mask rule unless the customer has announced a medical exception.
They also have an app that allows shoppers to wait in a digital queue in their cars for a slot to come into the store.
Asda also says they put a protective film on basket and cart handles that kills bacteria.
Tesco has similar face mask and cleaning protocols in all stores.
There are also priority hours for key personnel, as well as restrictions on some items for delivery.
Larger stores still have staff in front of them warning exposed shoppers who will have to come in to hide.
According to Waitrose, face masks must be worn in stores unless a person is exempt from wearing one.
Marshals are at the entrances to their stores to check that people are wearing a mask and shopping alone.
Floor markings help customers track social distancing while encouraging users to queue two meters.
“Once security measures are in place, retailers need to ensure that they are consistently followed in every store.
& # 39; We're also very concerned about reports that too many customers are failing to follow necessary safety precautions such as social distancing, wearing a face covering, and only shopping for essential items.
“It will be some time before the vaccine is introduced and we cannot afford to be complacent in the meantime, especially when a new strain hits the nation.
"I worry about supermarkets and people who actually wear masks, follow the one-way system and make sure they wait outside the supermarket when capacity is full."
The UK retail consortium said the incidence of violence and abuse among workers increased as they tried to encourage shoppers to attract them.
Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said: “Supermarkets continue to adhere to all safety guidelines and customers should be assured that supermarkets are Covid-safe and safe to visit during the lockdown and beyond.
"Customers should also do their part by following the signs in the store and showing consideration for employees and other shoppers."
Tesco said it is still enforcing social distancing practices in the store but is not yet considering reintroducing measures like one-way aisles.
"The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority and we already have extensive social distancing measures in place in our stores to ensure that everyone can shop safely with us," the store said on Twitter.
& # 39; We ask all of our customers to wear face covering when visiting our stores and to put up prominent signs to inform customers of the rules.
"However, there may be customers who are unable to wear face covering for medical or safety reasons, and we asked our colleagues to respect this and not challenge them directly."
Waitrose said face masks must be worn in its stores unless a person is exempt from wearing one.
It was said that marshals flanked the entrances to his shops to check that people were complying with the masking mandate and that people were shopping alone.
The supermarket chain has also put floor markings on shoppers to follow the rules of social distancing, while signs and tannoys tell people to stay two meters apart while they queue on the premises.
Public Health England data last week found that 11 outbreaks of disease came from grocery stores.
However, UK chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said supermarket employees would not be given a priority for vaccinations initially unless they also fall into the highest susceptibility categories.
When asked by a Somerset grocery retailer on BBC Radio 5 Live, he replied, “All of us in society have relied on the extraordinary work of people maintaining retail stores for essential goods – groceries, and so on. I think we should all thank you and your colleagues very much for this.
"When it comes to prioritizing vaccination … the first wave revolves around people at the highest risk of death. This is a clinical question that is primarily related to age."
"Obviously, when someone gets into this situation, if they are an elderly person who works in retail, or if they have any health condition, they are obviously being drawn into that situation."
Prof. Whitty added that once the most vulnerable people were vaccinated, ministers would decide who to prioritize next.
Asda shoppers put on their masks after going inside, left, or in some cases none at all, right
Everyone in England is told to stay home and act like you have it in a major advertising campaign. including posters (pictured) encouraging the public to control the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Coronavirus