Waterstone's and Sainsbury's among the places you'll still need to wear face masks from July 19
15 July 2021, 12:25 | Updated: 15 July 2021, 14:37
As 'Freedom Day' approaches, some retail shops are setting their own guidelines on mask-wearing in their stores.
Boris Johnson confirmed this week that England will be going ahead with 'Freedom Day' and the lifting of the remaining lockdown measures.
This means that from July 19, people will not need to social distance, the rule of six will be removed and, of course, the removal of face masks in some settings.
Across England, people will not legally need to wear face masks anymore when travelling on public transport – except for in London – or when shopping.
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While the legal requirement to wear a face covering has been removed, people are still being urged to wear one in crowded spaces.
These crowded spaces include retail and supermarket environments, which can get very busy during peak times.
For this reason, some brands have bought in their own face mask guidance for their shoppers.
Sainsbury's have said that although July 19 will see the legal need for a face mask removed, they will still be encouraging customers that can wear masks to do so.
Following feedback from their customers, the supermarket chain said: "Our colleagues' safety is vital and many of our colleagues would feel more comfortable if those who can wear face coverings continue to wear them."
Waterstone's announced this week that they will also be expecting people who can wear face coverings to do so.
In a statement, the book shop brand said: "From Monday 19 July, a loosening of government restrictions in England means the wearing of face coverings and observing 1m social distancing is no longer mandatory.
"However, the Government recommendation remains to wear face masks in crowded indoor environment, such as shops.
"With this in mind, we will be respectfully encouraging our customers to voluntarily maintain the same safety measures of face masks and social distancing that, to date, have kept both our staff and fellow customers so secure.
"We have asked our staff to adopt the same principles.
"Our bookshops in England are also maintaining the same Covid-19 protections such as Perspex till screens, hand sanitiser and safety signage as before."
Update: Tesco, Waitrose, John Lewis & Adsa
Tesco, Waitrose, John Lewis and Asda have all announced today that they will bringing in their own guidance on face masks for shoppers.
Like Sainsbury's and Waterstone's, the supermarket and retail brands will request that people that can wear a face covering continue to do so when shopping in their stores.
Other settings where you still need to wear a mask
From July 19, the legal requirement to wear face masks will be scrapped and replaced with Government guidelines.
While these changes will come into place next week, Mr Johnson is still encouraging people to wear a covering when in crowded and enclosed spaces.
In London, people will still be expected to wear a mask on public transport.
This requirement has been ordered by Mayor Sadiq Khan, who runs London's Transport Network, who said he was "not prepared to stand by and put Londoners, and our city's recovery, at risk" by not continuing to enforce masks on trains, buses and the tube.
He said: "By keeping face masks mandatory we will give Londoners and visitors the reassurance and confidence to make the most of what our city has to offer, while also protecting our heroic transport workers and those who may be vulnerable and rely on the network to get around our city.
"It's an extra layer of protection on top of TfL's world-leading enhanced cleaning regime - and I'm sure Londoners will continue to do the right thing as they have done throughout the pandemic, and continue to wear a face covering on TfL services."
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