The Department of Health and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation have together issued a new communication advising on the use of Face Coverings of relevance to shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and other businesses in the Retail Sector.
- The use of face coverings in shops, supermarkets and shopping centres is for the protection and safety of both shoppers and staff alike. Face coverings may help in preventing people who do not know they have the virus from spreading it to others. In enclosed indoor spaces such as shops, they are an added measure where keeping a physical distance of 2m is difficult or not practical.
- Face coverings are not a replacement for essential personal behaviours like cough/sneeze etiquette or washing your hands regularly, but an additional support in suppressing COVID-19 in the community as we work together to reopen our country’s retail outlets safely and to protect retail staff.
- Until the Regulations are signed to bring this measure into law, retailers can let customers into their stores without a face covering.
- Retailers cannot refuse to serve a customer on the basis of not wearing a covering until these Regulations come into effect.
- The Regulations are currently being prepared and enforcement matters are being considered. Alongside of Regulations, the aim is to inform customers and staff on public health advice and focus on encouragement towards compliance for everyone’s collective benefit.
- There is no onus on retailers to provide masks or coverings.
- If the retail outlet has provided a protective Perspex screen between the staff member and customers, or a Perspex visor for staff to wear, there is no need for the staff members to wear a face covering.
See here for further information.