From today, it is mandatory by law for customers to wear a face covering in retail environments. The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 will be amended to allow police to issue fines of up to £100 to people who fail to wear a face covering. A face covering must be worn by all people using a shop, which is any indoor establishment which offers goods or services for sale or hire, when the shop is open. Face coverings do not need to be worn in hospitality premises or in banks. It is recommended, but not mandatory, that staff wear face coverings.
Face coverings may cause some difficulties for retail staff who have a legal responsibility to check customer identification when selling age restricted products such as alcohol and tobacco. Retail workers can ask customers to temporarily remove their face coverings in the event that they have to identify someone against a proof of age card for selling age-restricted products.
If customers refuse to remove their face covering and staff cannot confirm their age, in line with Challenge 25 policy, they should refuse to serve the customer.