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Businesses hope compulsory masks will make shoppers feel safe

Customers must wear face coverings inside stores from July 24

17 July, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Jan Tucker (centre) of the Archway business forum

THE move to make wearing face coverings in shops compulsory has been welcomed by the borough’s business leaders, who hope it will inspire confidence in shoppers to get back out and support independent firms.

From July 24, all customers inside shops, except children under 11 and people with certain disabilities, must wear a face covering. Those who don’t comply could be fined up to £100.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said he hoped the move would “give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protections for those who work in shops”.

The new rules will bring England into line with Scotland and other countries such as Spain, Italy and Germany.

But Jan Tucker, who chairs the Archway business forum, said she hopes shop employees will follow the same rules.

“It’s very encouraging that they are going to be compulsory,” she told the Tribune.

“But all shops, including the bigger stores, need to make sure their staff are wearing masks and are following the rules. That’s what will really inspire confidence among customers.

“The independent shops in Archway have been really good, and everyone has worked really hard to make their own businesses safe for customers.

“The bigger issue is that people get out and support these businesses, because we don’t want to lose what we’ve created here. Once these businesses have gone, they will stay gone. We need customers to support them and I think this is a good first step. People aren’t going to be rushing back to the Tube or hurrying to the West End for a while, so it’s these businesses that are needed.”

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