Central England Co-op has outlined plans for its staff to begin to wear face coverings early to promote their use ahead of them becoming compulsory for customers on Friday (24 July).
Central England Co-op, which has over 400 food stores and funeral homes across 16 counties, is asking customers to follow government guidance and wear a face covering when visiting one of its businesses.
The retailer revealed all colleagues will wear a face covering or visor while at work to ensure “everyone plays their part in staying safe and healthy”.
The new measures on wearing face coverings will sit alongside a range of others already in place at Central England Co-op sites, which include prominent markings installed outside stores to maintain a two-metre distance, permanent hand sanitiser stations at the front of all stores and a one-way system.
Specialist cleaning products are used to regularly wipe down the countertops and chip and pin machines, ATMs, baskets and trolleys, alongside “clear markings” installed throughout stores to communicate two-metre spacing.
Additionally, over 1,000 plastic screens have been installed at till points and 7,000 face visors issued to staff.
Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op CEO, said: “Nothing is more important to us all at Central England Cooperative than the health and safety of our colleagues and customers.
“Ahead of the official start date of 24 July for customers to wear face coverings in shops, we will be asking colleagues to do so from 20 July. This is to ensure the message is as clear and consistent as possible for everyone.”
She added: “Our colleagues have all been supplied with face masks for when they are working and will be playing their part in helping our communities to stay safe.
“We want our colleagues to feel comfortable wearing a face covering for up to eight hours at a time, and so are also ensuring more comfortable face visors are available to those who prefer to wear one.”
Robinson concluded: “So we now ask all of our customers to wear a face covering so we know together we’re co-operating in our efforts to be safe.”