Masks policy vital for safety of workers and customers, says supermarket boss

While some major supermarket chains announced this week that they would no longer be letting people in without a mask or a valid excuse, one local firm has been enforcing the policy since last March.

Morrisons and Sainsbury's both garnered national headlines with their announcement that shoppers without masks would not be allowed into their premises – unless they have a legitimate reason for not wearing the face covering.

But local independent supermarket firm Tuffins, which has a store in Craven Arms, has been requiring face coverings since the first lockdown last March.

Harry Delves, commercial director at the supermarket, said it was a policy they had insisted on for the safety of both staff and customers – as well as limits on the numbers of shoppers allowed in at one time.

He added that at points they had also not been allowing couples to shop together, and had been limiting it to one person from a family to ensure social distancing requirements were maintained.

He said: "We have done it ever since the start. We have had staff on the door ever since it began.

"You either wear a mask or show an exemption card, or you are not allowed in.

"In the large part we have found customers are appreciative of what we are doing but there is a minority that either do not like the rules or want to be plain ignorant and not abide by them."

Mr Delves said he believed the major supermarket chains should have had the policy in place all along.

He said: "Why are we talking about it now? They should have done it already."

Mr Delves said that the vast majority of people had been respectful of the rules, but that there had been a small number of incidents where people had directed abuse at workers over the situation

He said: "There are definitely people out there who don't want to abide by the rules and there is certainly a percentage of people who feel aggrieved at being told what to do and do not seem to be taking into account how seriously we are taking the protection of people's health and safety.

"We want our customers and staff to be safe. We want to make sure our staff feel safe coming to work every day and if we enforce a strong policy it shows we mean business."

He added: "We had someone in the shop not long ago using really abusive language to staff, saying "it's a hoax", "it is just regular flu", and you think 'what if your mum or dad dies from it?'."

"Our staff should not be turning up to work and getting abused. The more people can shop kindly and considerately the easier we will get through this nightmare."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News