Men fined for not wearing face masks in supermarket

Emily Cleary
·3 min read
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 12: A security guard (C) stands at the entrance to a branch of the Sainsbury's supermarket chain following the company's decision to enforce the mandatory wearing of face masks in their stores, on January 12, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. In response to government ministers voicing concerns about the public's behaviour in supermarkets, Sainsbury's and Morrisons have both announced they will be enforcing rules on mask-wearing in their stores. The daily admissions to hospitals of coronavirus cases  has topped 4000 and the current number of patients in hospital with the virus is 32,294. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Supermarkets across the UK announced they would enforce the mandatory wearing of face masks in their stores this week, in response to government ministers voicing concerns about the public's behaviour in shops (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Two men have been fined for not wearing face coverings in a supermarket.

As well as refusing to wear masks the pair, aged 18 and 21, also failed to socially distance from other shoppers in an Aldi store on Thursday, according to the police.

When they left the supermarket, in the Knowsley area of Merseyside, the men were approached by officers and fined for non-compliance with COVID regulations.

Policing minister Kit Malthouse said on Tuesday that supermarkets should clamp down on people not wearing masks and return to limiting numbers inside their stores in an effort to halt the spread of coronavirus.

A sign at the entrance informs customers that they must wear a face mask because of the coronavirus pandemic at a Morrisons supermarket in Winsford, northwest England, on January 12, 2021. - People who flout coronavirus lockdown rules are putting lives at risk, the British government said on Tuesday, as cases surge to record highs and rumours swirl of potentially tougher restrictions. Morrisons supermarket chain said customers who refused to wear a mask without a medical exemption will be told to leave its stores, while Sainsbury's said its security staff would challenge shoppers who were not wearing masks. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Morrisons has said customers who refuse to wear a mask without a medical exemption will be told to leave its stores, while Sainsbury's has said security staff will challenge shoppers not wearing masks. Other stores have followed suit. (Paul Ellis/ AFP)

On Tuesday, Tesco and Asda followed Morrisons and Sainsbury’s by announcing that customers must wear a face covering in order to be allowed to enter stores, unless they have a medical exemption.

Knowsley Community Policing Inspector Peter Rexwinkel said: “We know that rates of Coronavirus in the Knowsley area are at a very high level and it is important that we do all that we can to reduce the numbers and keep people safe.

“We all have a part to play and I would continue to urge people to abide by the lockdown rules – don’t go out unless for essential work, shopping or exercise and when you do go into shops and businesses please wear and mask and abide by social distancing.

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“We will continue to work with all our partners to ensure that these messages keep going across and that action is taken against people who chose to flout them.

"It is really important, particularly at this critical time that we protect ourselves, our loved ones and the NHS.”

On Tuesday, Britain’s most senior police officer, Metropolitan Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, said those who break the coronavirus lockdown rules are “increasingly likely” to face fines.

Writing in The Times, she said: “It is preposterous to me that anyone could be unaware of our duty to do all we can to stop the spread of the virus.

“We have been clear that those who breach COVID-19 legislation are increasingly likely to face fines.”

On Friday, the Welsh government announced new rules for supermarkets in a bid to curb the spread of the new coronavirus variant.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said retailers will now have to offer sanitisers for hands and trolleys, as well as limit the numbers of people inside stores, and ensure they keep their distance from others.

Watch: What you can and can’t do during UK’s third lockdown