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Supermarket rules for July 19 explained, including Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Morrisons


MASKS and social distancing could disappear from supermarkets in the next two weeks as Covid restrictions are axed.

But so far customers have been left in the dark about whether UK supermarkets are planning to scrap the rules.

Supermarkets will be given the option to scrap compulsory mask wearing

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Supermarkets will be given the option to scrap compulsory mask wearingCredit: Getty

Brits currently face a fine of up to £6,400 for not wearing a mask in shops, but this legal obligation will be dropped from June 19.

Social distancing will not be required either, meaning supermarkets won’t legally have to restrict the number of customers in stores.

This means queues outside shops, traffic light systems at the door and one way systems could be a thing of the past.

However, individual businesses can make their own decision about whether to continue to enforce mask wearing and other Covid rules.

FREEDOM DAY – KEY DATES

June 14: Boris Johnson will address the nation and reveal his plan to push Freedom Day back to July 19
June 21: The original end of lockdown under the PM’s roadmap, which has now been delayed
July 5: The PM will run the rule over the data for a two-week ‘break-clause’ review. If hospitalisations haven’t increased significantly, restrictions could be relaxed early. 
July 19: The new ‘Freedom Day’ date where all remaining rules should be lifted.

In an statement outlining the next phase of the road map out of lockdown, the Prime Minister last night said firms can continue to require masks to be warn indoors.

It is still recommended that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded spaces.

Supermarkets are hedging their bets before announcing exactly what rules they will enforce from July 19.

We will update this article with the latest announcements when we have more details.

It is likely that they will make announcements closer to “freedom day”, with a further update from Boris Johnson expected on July 12.

However, several major grocery chains said they are reviewing the latest guidance, suggesting they could be poised to remove the mask mandate.

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Sainsbury’s has indicated that it will let individual staff and customers decide whether to wear a mask.

Chief executive Simon Roberts said: “We’re clearly going to follow the Government advice, we’ll continue to listen to our customers and colleagues and we’ll respect and support the individual choices [they] want to make.”

In a statement the supermarket told The Sun that it is “reviewing the latest guidance and will keep customers and colleagues updated on our plans”.

Lidl has also confirmed that it is “closely following government guidance”.

“We are closely following government guidance regarding Covid-19 secure measures in our stores and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.”

Morrisons said it is waiting for further government guidance before updating customers on what the rules will be after July 19.

“We will then review them and update our policy accordingly,” a spokesperson said.

Aldi

Aldi has not yet confirmed whether it will make any changes to its rules on masks and social distancing.

We will update this page when the supermarket announces its post-lockdown plans.

But for now you should continue to follow the rules that remain in place.

There is a traffic light queuing system operating at Aldi to manage shopper numbers along with a range of other safety measures.

Face coverings are mandatory, unless exempt, and there are social distancing markers in store.

Aldi is advising customers to avoid busy times, usually 11am-3pm, and to shop alone if you can.

The quietest times are supposed to be from 7pm until 10pm so that might be your best option for safe shopping.

There are perspex screens at tills and when you’re there, pay with card or other contactless option where possible.

Asda

Asda has not yet responded to The Sun’s query on what its rules on social distancing and face masks will be after July 19.

Currently, Asda’s stores are operating at a reduced capacity and masks are compulsory unless you’re exempt.

Asda is advising shoppers to keep two metres away from other customers and staff, including at counters, as well as to avoid touching items, only picking up what you buy.

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The supermarket is also applying a layer of antimicrobial material to its trollies and baskets to help stop the spread of bacteria and is adding more sanitisation stations.

Alongside this, it’s asking people to pay with a card or mobile device where possible and at tills there are plastic screens positioned.

Iceland

Iceland said it is reviewing its policies on masks and social distancing following the latest government announcement.

The supermarket said it will provide another update on changes when it is able to do so.

An Iceland spokesperson said: “We are currently reviewing our policies in line with the latest updates from the Government on the easing of restrictions, and will continue to do so as further updates are provided. The safety of our customers and colleagues will continue to be our priority as restrictions are eased and we will update on any changes as we are able to do so.”

Lidl

The latest update from Lidl is that it is continuing to follow government guidance regarding Covid-19 safety in its stores.

A spokesperson for the supermarket said: “We are closely following government guidance regarding Covid-19 secure measures in our stores and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.

At the moment, face masks must be worn in store and there are social distancing markers and signs in place, while screens are positioned at the checkouts.

The elderly, vulnerable and single parent families should ask for assistance if they need it.

Customers are encouraged to pay by contactless payment.

Morrisons

 A Morrisons spokesperson said it is waiting for the government to publish further guidelines.

They said: “we are waiting for the Government to share the latest guidelines and we will then review them and update our policy accordingly.”

At the moment, NHS staff get a priority hour from Monday to Saturday between 6am and 7am and on Sunday, either at 9am or an hour before usual opening if later than that.

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There are marshals on the doors at Morrisons, social distancing measures in place and perspex screens at tills.

Shoppers must wear a face covering as per the government guidelines, unless exempt.

Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s has indicated that it will let individual staff and customers decide whether to wear a mask.

Chief executive Simon Roberts said: “We’re clearly going to follow the Government advice, we’ll continue to listen to our customers and colleagues and we’ll respect and support the individual choices [they] want to make.”

In a statement the supermarket told The Sun that it is “reviewing the latest guidance and will keep customers and colleagues updated on our plans”.

Tesco

Tesco has not responded to The Sun’s request for comment.

Larger Tesco stores have a traffic light system in place to manage the number of people in store – how many are allowed in at the same time depends on the size.

The supermarket is encouraging shoppers to visit stores on their own to help maintain social distancing measures, but if they need to bring children or shop with a carer for example, then that is allowed.

If a queue develops outside and it’s raining, Tesco is providing umbrellas for customers, which have been fully sanitised.

When in store, follow social distancing markers and signage, make use of hand sanitiser and cleaning stations and use contactless payment where possible.

There are plastic screens at the till, but it’s still mandatory to wear a mask inside, unless you are exempt.

If you forget your face covering, there should be ones available when you enter the store which you can wear immediately and then pay for with the rest of your shopping.

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