Finance

Sainsbury’s and Tesco update shoppers on new rules due to fears over Omicron Covid variant


SAINSBURY’S and Tesco have reintroduced Covid rules for shoppers in response to the spread of a new variant.

It’s now a legal requirement for customers to wear masks in supermarkets unless they’re exempt.

Shoppers in Sainsbury's have to wear a mask

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Shoppers in Sainsbury’s have to wear a maskCredit: Reuters

New Covid measures have come in today, requiring everyone in England to wear a face covering when shopping indoors.

Anyone who doesn’t follow the new rules could be hit with a fine of up to £6,400.

The measure was already in place for most of the pandemic, but was removed in July this year as restrictions eased.

Restrictions have been tightened as the government scrambles to contain the spread of new variant Omicron.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson this afternoon set out his plan to offer booster jabs to every UK adult by the end of January.

Sainsbury’s and Tesco have introduced face mask rules in their stores in line with the government guidance.

There are also other Covid measures in action, including hand sanitiser and steps to prevent overcrowding – we explain what the changes mean for shoppers.

What changes is Sainsbury’s introducing?

This week, Sainsbury’s is looking to put up all new signs and posters in every store to remind everyone inside.

Plus, they are posting greeters and security guards at the front of supermarkets to help everyone get used to the new rules.

The store is also thoroughly cleaning trollies, baskets and checkouts as well as increasing the fresh air circulating so areas are well-ventilated.

Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts said: “We are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe this festive season – thank you for your ongoing support.”

What are the new rules at Tesco?

Tesco boss Jason Tarry wrote to customers today to outline the new rules in store.

From today, it is a legal requirement for customers to wear a face covering unless they’re exempt.

Large stores also have traffic light systems in place to help to prevent overcrowding.

There are still hand sanitiser stations at the entrance and dotted around the shop.

Tesco hasn’t removed the protect screens that it put in place around every checkout during earlier waves of the pandemic so those are still in place.

The supermarket has also maintained separate entrances and exits where possible to reduce crowding.

What other rules do I need to consider?

While Brits are now expected to wear face coverings in shops and on public transport, they’re not required in pubs and restaurants currently.

After the first lockdowns, masks were required whenever you left your seat at the hospitality venues, but no new restrictions have been put in place this time around.

Amongst the confusion of where you do and don’t have to wear a mask, there are three other surprising places that are enforcing the policy.

We still have to wear masks in takeaways, for driving lessons, and in tattoo and piercing parlours.

There’s new rules for British jetsetters too as they have to take PCR tests, as the news comes that ten more countries were also placed on the UK’s red list.

Boris Johnson says ‘there’s no doubt at all’ everyone can rise to the challenge and increase the vaccine rollout to tackle the Omicron variant

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