A convenience store has put up a sign asking customers NOT to cover their faces - despite new laws requiring face masks to be worn in shops to halt the spread of Covid-19.The sign, at the Nisa Local store in Danesmoor, Derbyshire, tells customers they should not cover their faces in store for "security reasons".
According to the manager of the Pilsley Road store, who did not want to be named, he is allowing people to wear masks inside.
Explaining the reason behind the sign, he said: "I am allowing people to wear masks - maybe I've worded the sign badly - but we get a lot of shoplifting and if they've got a mask on, I can't prosecute them."
"What if someone comes in with a knife and threatens my staff, but they're wearing a mask? What am I meant to do? No-one seems to have thought of the security of people working in shops in all this. We do get shoplifting here and, on the last occasion, the guy was wearing a mask. Am I meant to just keep losing money? I've now been made to feel like the criminal."
Since July 24, face coverings have been mandatory in shops and supermarkets after the Government brought in new regulations to curb the spread of coronavirus.The shopkeeper said that when the pandemic started spreading in the UK, he began wearing a mask early on after reading the virus was airborne.
But he said he was "ridiculed for it" and believes "we should've been wearing them from the start, but only now, after the horse has bolted, have the new rules come in".He added: "If people want to wear a mask or face covering for health or religious reasons, then that's not a problem; I'll be changing the wording of the sign to reflect that.According to government regulations, people found flouting the masks rules could face a fine of £100, reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.
A spokesperson for Nisa said: “Nisa is focused on the safety of partners, colleagues and customers. We regularly communicate with Nisa’s partners and advise on adherence with government guidelines and best practice. However, Nisa partners are independent and therefore ultimately they make their own decisions within their businesses.”