Major supermarkets set out rules for shoppers after July 19
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Sainsbury's has confirmed that people will be advised to wear masks in its shops and follow Covid-safe procedures.
From Monday, wearing a face covering becomes a personal choice in England in what is being called "freedom day."
But new signs and tannoy messages in Sainsbury’s stores will encourage customers to continue to wear a face covering, if they can.
Colleagues will be encouraged to wear a face covering, unless they are behind a screen and all of Sainsbury’s leadership team will wear one when visiting stores.
The majority of people surveyed including customers and staff at stores across the country found that they wanted to keep current rules in place.
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While screens between self-service checkouts and dividing checkout queues will be gradually removed from stores in England, they will remain in place between colleagues and customers when they are being served at checkouts.
Hand sanitiser stations will remain in all stores and Sainsbury’s will continue with thorough cleaning of trollies and baskets, as well as deep cleaning overnight.
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Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s chief executive, said: “As we respond to the recent change in government guidance, we know that safety is still top of mind for many of our colleagues and customers.
"Our colleagues’ safety is vital and many of our colleagues would feel more comfortable if those who can wear face coverings continue to wear them.
"We’ve listened closely to our customers too and they are telling us the same.
"We’re asking everyone to be considerate and, while we understand wearing a face covering will now be a personal choice, we want to ensure we best support and protect each other in the weeks and months ahead.”
Asda has confirmed the supermarket will be following similar rules to Sainsbury's and will have signs advising of Covid safe procedures and Asda radio announcements reminding customers to wear face masks.
The supermarket will also provide face coverings at the front of store for customers who wish to wear one.
Asda will have safety measures in stores, including cleaning stations at the front of stores for trolleys and baskets, hand sanitization stations throughout the store, perspex screens at checkouts and counters and over 600,000 antimicrobial coatings on common touch points such as trolleys and handles.
A spokesman for the store said: “We encourage customers to be respectful to each other and to follow the government guidance on face coverings when shopping in our stores after 19th July.”
A spokesman for Lidl said signs will be available in store advising customers of Covid-safe procedures and advising customers to still wear face masks.
He said: "Although no longer legally required, the government recommends that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded or indoor spaces and we will have signage in place at store entrances reminding our customers of this."
A spokeswoman for Aldi confirmed that the supermarket will continue to advise customers to wear face masks and Covid-safe procedures will still be in place.
She said: “From Monday July 19, we'll continue to encourage customers and colleagues to wear face coverings when they're in store.
"Other measures like hand sanitiser and screens will also stay in place. Face masks are still required for customers and colleagues in our Welsh and Scottish stores, in line with the latest guidance.”
Tesco has confirmed that all the Covid-safe procedures will remain in place after July 19 'freedom day.'
This includes limiting the number of people in each store, protective screens at checkouts, hand sanitizers and regular cleaning.
A spokeswoman for Tesco said: "Having listened to our customers and colleagues, we will continue to have safety measures in place in our stores; these include limiting the number of people in store at any time, protective screens at every checkout, hand sanitiser stations and regular cleaning.
"We’re asking our customers and colleagues to be on the safe side, and so from July 19 we’ll be encouraging our colleagues to wear face coverings whilst they work and encouraging our customers to do the same when they shop with us.”
Iceland have confirmed that they are finalising details and will have an update at a later time.