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Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that the use of face coverings will become mandatory in shops in Scotland from the 10th of July.

The new face coverings rule follows Scotland’s reopening of non-essential retail shops outdoor entrances and exits on the 29th June and will see the country become the first nation in the UK implement such a stringent face coverings policy.

“We have proceeded for a period with a voluntary approach to this,” she explained.

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“Some people are complying and some are not, I’m not pointing fingers or trying to blame people for that but we have to make a judgement if we’re heading into a period where more people are interacting.

“And we’ve been having a discussion with more sectors like retail about reducing distancing, and that increases the importance of mitigations like face coverings.”

Currently, face coverings are only mandatory on public transport in Scotland.

Responding to the announcement, David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “The First Minister’s announcement is further proof that there will be no immediate return to normal shopping. We’ve supported the government’s view that the voluntary wearing of face coverings by customers can help to reduce the risk of transmission of this virus; in conjunction with using hand sanitiser and maintaining physical distancing etiquette in stores. Our members will seek to make this policy work.

“We understand the enforcement of this policy on customers will not fall on hard-pressed shop staff, which is encouraging. Retail workers are already responsible for maintaining physical distancing and hygiene regimes in stores to keep customers safe. Leaving enforcement to the authorities should hopefully remove any potential risk of new frictions or flashpoints with customers. It’s therefore very welcome that Scottish Ministers have listened to our representations and understood while retailers and their staff will work to support this measure, it won’t be their legal duty to enforce it.”

The rule will not apply to people who have a health condition, disabled people and those who need to communicate with a person who has difficulties communicating (in relation to speech, language or otherwise).

Recently, charity Euan’s Guide announced launched a set of simple badges designed for disabled people to quickly communicate to others that they are face mask exempt to avoid any potential challenges or confrontations.

It comes as the country continues to ease lockdown restrictions, with the first minister also introducing a “one metre plus” social distance exemption ahead of the hospitality and tourism sectors reopening later this month.

The one metre plus exemption comes with a number of caveats for business, including clear signage to emphasise people are entering a 1m zone and collecting customer contact information to help trace in the event of an outbreak.

https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/face-mask-coronavirus-COVID19.jpg?fit=900%2C615&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/face-mask-coronavirus-COVID19.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettCoronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Sector NewsCOVID-19 Trade NewsGovernment & Local AuthoritiesNewsroomRetailer NewsSector NewsTrade Newscoronavirus,COVID-19,Euan's Guide,face coverings,face mask,First Minister,Nicola Sturgeon,one metre plus,policy,retail,rules,shopsScotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that the use of face coverings will become mandatory in shops in Scotland from the 10th of July.The new face coverings rule follows Scotland’s reopening of non-essential retail shops outdoor entrances and exits on the 29th June and will see the country...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals