The vaccines minister says enforcement of social distancing and mask-wearing in supermarkets is a top priority, after the shopworkers union said staff are ‘deeply worried’ about catching Covid-19.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi told SkyNews: "The most important thing to do now is to make sure that actually enforcement - and of course the compliance with the rules - when people are going into supermarkets are being adhered to."
Government guidance for food retailers says Covid-19 secure controls should be supported by ‘increased visible monitoring’ and its ‘enforcement by management’.
The advice ‘strongly recommends’ visible marshalling by staff in supermarkets, in particular at ‘pinch’ points where people flow into and out of the site.
Usdaw, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, said it has been inundated with complaints from members concerned about their safety as customers “blatantly flout the rules.”
Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary said: “Where safety measures are agreed, retailers need to make sure that they are being followed consistently, in every store.”
These measures in stores include limits on customer numbers, customers to be reminded to shop ‘less frequently’, 2-metre social distancing and markers and one-way systems.
"Usdaw is urging the shopping public to strictly follow the rules to help make shops safer and limit the spread of Covid-19,” he said.
"Many retail workers are at a greater risk of catching the virus and bringing it home to their families. Supermarket workers and delivery drivers have worked throughout the pandemic to keep the country supplied with essentials. These key workers must be valued, respected and protected."
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