Covid face coverings

Mobility retailers have been expressing their views that they will continue to insist upon the use of face coverings amongst staff and customers beyond the date that they are no longer legally mandatory in England.

The UK Government announced earlier this week that all COVID-19 regulations in England, including the mandatory wearing of face coverings, will be be lifted on July 19th, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland continuing to enforce their own rules on these.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that it would be a “personal choice” whether members of the public continue to wear face masks in public spaces and that they will still be encouraged to “exercise judgement” particularly in crowded spaces.

Advertisement | Continue story below

Under new rules, shops and other businesses, he said, may be allowed to set their own rules when it comes to wearing face coverings and practising social distancing, while still remaining mindful of equality law.

Following the news, Tom Ironside, Director of Business and Regulation at the British Retail Consortium, warned that it will take time for consumers and businesses to adjust to the easing of restrictions.

He said: “It is vital that Government messaging is clear and consistent so that businesses and consumers easily understand what is expected of them both legally and individually.”

As many mobility or access shop customers are vulnerable, THIIS asked retailers in the sector whether they will still require consumers to wear face coverings in their showrooms, and if they themselves plan to continue taking preventative measures when doing home demonstrations. The response was strongly in favour of their continued use.

Coral Affleck-Major, Joint Managing Director & Owner of 1st Choice Stairlifts
Coral Affleck-Major, Joint Managing Director & Owner of 1st Choice Stairlifts

Coral Affleck-Major, Joint Managing Director & Owner of 1st Choice Stairlifts, commented: “My family is one of those that have been affected by COVID, having had my Dad in hospital for five months recovering from it and my cousin who was in his early 40’s passed away earlier this year.

“Whilst vaccines will help, there is still a lot of uncertainty around their effectiveness and virus mutations.

“1st Choice Stairlifts have worked right through the pandemic with the relevant safety measures put in place including sanitisation, handwashing, wearing PPE and masks.

“Although mask-wearing is not going to be mandatory, I feel that as a responsible organisation that cares for our customers and staff, we will continue to wear masks for the foreseeable future in customer’s homes and our showroom, particularly as infection rates are high.

“We will also encourage customers to wear masks on our showroom demonstrations too and sanitise hands and equipment.  Our customers have felt our approach to covid safe compliance to be reassuring and we will continue to do whatever we can to keep everyone safe.”

Stacey Showering, Managing Director of Care Plus Mobility, said: “We as a company would like to protect our staff and customers, and will continue to wear face coverings.

“Our staff have continued to be front line workers throughout the pandemic supplying medical products, and servicing these items within their own homes.

“Our clients have various medical conditions, and many have weaker immune systems to fight of viruses, so we will continue to support them and ensure they feel safe when meeting our staff.”

Alastair Gibbs, Director of TPG DisableAids, said: “Having posed the question to our showroom and field staff as to whether we should continue to use masks beyond 19th July, the overwhelming answer is ‘yes’.

“We believe that there is still going to be some nervousness among our buying public and it would only be fair and respectful to consider those opinions.

“Where customers come in to the showroom wearing a mask, then our staff will follow suit. Likewise we will be wearing masks on field sales calls until invited to remove them by the householder.”

Steve Kirman, Director of Kings Lynn Mobility Centre Ltd, said: “We will still use masks and sanitizer in our shop and at customers homes – it’s called common sense.”

THIIS ROUND-UP
Join the 2,500+ mobility professionals who stay informed with THIIS' twice-weekly industry updates.
We respect your privacy
https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/coronavirus-uk-shop-queue_5006330.jpg?fit=900%2C506&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/coronavirus-uk-shop-queue_5006330.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Liane McIvorCOVID-19 Trade NewsNewsroomRetailer NewsTrade Newsaccess,Boris Johnson,COVID-19,face coverings,masks,Mobility,regulations,retailers,shopsMobility retailers have been expressing their views that they will continue to insist upon the use of face coverings amongst staff and customers beyond the date that they are no longer legally mandatory in England. The UK Government announced earlier this week that all COVID-19 regulations in England, including the...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals