‘A real mess!’ Firms blast ministers over flip-flopping on Covid rules – ‘mixed messages’


    Ministers also asked retailers to “consider encouraging, for example through signage, the use of face coverings by workers, particularly in indoor areas where they may come into contact with people they do not normally meet.”

    The Prime Minister has told the public to exercise “extreme caution” and to take “personal responsibility” wherever possible.

    Businesses across the country have faced difficulty in deciding how to deal with the sudden change, with many firms calling for people to keep wearing masks.

    Usdaw, the retail trade union, told The Times guidance is “a real mess”.

    Paddy Lillis, the general secretary, said: “Protection for retail workers through wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing in busy public areas like shops should be backed up by the law.”

    Sainsbury’s is one of the largest retailers to promote continued mask wearing.

    CEO Simon Roberts said the decision would make shoppers and staff “feel more comfortable”.

    Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, is one political figure who feels mask wearing should still be required on public transport.

    READ MORE: Should mask wearing on all UK public transport be law after July 19?

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    However, Mr Burnham does not have the power to make it compulsory but urged people to continue wearing masks as an “act of solidarity”.

    The UK has seen a recent surge in new Covid infections as the official data shows a weekly average of over 30,000 cases a week.

    However, Covid-related deaths remain extremely low, as the nation only recorded 50 daily deaths in data from July 13.

    Claire Walker, co-executive director of the British Chambers of Commerce, told The Guardian: “Business leaders aren’t public health experts and cannot be expected to know how best to operate when confusing and sometimes contradictory advice is coming from official sources.

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    “This could lead to an inconsistent approach with different businesses reopening at different times and with different requirements, which could damage public confidence, give firms a huge logistical headache, and create a real risk of the economic recovery splintering.”


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