SHOPS in Redditch are gearing up for the introduction of mandatory wearing of facemasks by shoppers tomorrow, Friday, July 24.
Ken Williams, general manager at the Kingfisher Shopping centre said: “The safety and welfare of our guests and retail workers are always at the forefront of what we do.
“As per the government guidance there are number of exemptions that cover retail shop workers, children and people with hidden disabilities or for whom, wearing a face covering, could cause stress or distress.
“We have seen a marked increase in our guests and retail staff voluntarily adopting face coverings since the government announcement.
“Retailers selling face masks have seen increased demand, which is encouraging to hear.”
He added: “Whilst we are not classified as a retail shop or supermarket, we do attract a large number of guests from across the area into an enclosed public space where social distancing can, at peak periods and high demand zones, be difficult for guests to achieve.
“As such we believe it is prudent to ask our guests and retail staff to wear face coverings where possible when moving around the shared mall areas, subject to the exemptions that exist in the government guidance.
“We do not plan to refuse access to the centre by guests without face covering based on visual observation, but will take an approach where we will help inform, clarify, advise and encourage our guests to support the effort to try and control the risk of coronavirus spread by co-operating with the rest of the community to protect each other.”
Worcestershire’s director of public health, Dr Kathryn Cobain said; “The people of Worcestershire and our business community have all worked hard to stop Covid-19 from spreading.
“Our vibrant stores are safe places to shop, thanks to their efforts.
“But we all need to help keep the shops safe, by now wearing a face mask in store and keeping our distance and washing our hands.
“All these measures help us keep us and our loved ones safe.”
Not everyone will have to wear a face covering, and the exemptions, along with other advice on keeping masks clean and how to safely remove them, is available on: http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20769/coronavirus_covid-19