July 23, 2020 5.09 pm This story is over 40 months old

Wearing a face mask in shops is “your responsibility”, police say

New face covering rules starting Friday

Lincolnshire Police are urging people to wear face masks in shops when it becomes mandatory from Friday, warning that they do have the power to enforce the rules.

The government’s legislation that face masks must be worn in shops will come into force July 24, with anyone caught not doing so in risk of a £100 fine.

People could be exempt from wearing face masks if they suffer with an illness that prevents them wearing one, and this should be made clear to staff once the person enters the shop.

Police have been working with retailers across Lincolnshire to ensure that measures are in place to allow for the rules to be made clear. Major retail bosses told The Lincolnite they are ready for the new rules.

This includes clear signage at entrances, staff monitoring queues and checking customers, while managing those who refuse to wear a mask.

Covid face masks Lincoln

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Chief Inspector Andy Morrice said: “Here in Lincolnshire our approach will remain the same as it has always been.

“This is to engage, explain, and encourage. If that does not prove effective in convincing people to comply with legislation then, as a last resort, we will enforce and issues fines.

“I’d ask people to remember that personal responsibility is key here.

“We have been very clear that while we have the powers to issue fixed penalty notices we are relying on retailers to do all they can to make sure customers in their stores adhere to legislation before we are asked to step in.”

People are being encouraged to raise any face covering issues with staff before calling police.