All the information and legislation regarding face coverings has got many of our clients a little confused. So here we are with an easy to follow guide:
Will Retail Workers Wear Masks?
People working in shops won’t have to wear masks or face coverings.
However, sales assistants, cashiers and security guards, who sold essential supplies and remained open have suffered much higher infection rates. The death rate of sales and retail assistants is 75% higher amongst men and 60% higher amongst women than in the general population. Which we are sure you’ll agree is unacceptable.
So, as we work together to restore retail, we have a duty to keep both our employees and customers safe by wearing protective PPE, using screens, socially distancing, having clear procedures in place, using floor and static signage, washing and sanitising hands and workplaces thoroughly throughout the day and wearing visors and / or masks.
It’s also worth remembering as a retailer that research suggests that many consumers are still extremely nervous and face coverings help increase their confidence to shop with you.
What if Face Coverings are a Barrier?
If a mask or face covering is a barrier to communication, especially with customers who rely upon lip reading, please step back to more than 2 metres, lower it or use a notepad and clear written instructions.
Who is Exempt from Wearing a Face Mask?
Some people can’t wear a face mask or covering because of a disability or severe distress. Many authorities are providing Learning Disability Exemption Cards, Autism Exemption Cards and Parent and Child Exemption Cards which will be a lifeline to vulnerable people.
You are exempt if:
- You have a disability that means you cannot put a mask on.
- You have a disability that means you cannot wear or remove a mask.
- Putting on a face mask would cause you severe distress.
- If you use lip reading to communicate, the person supporting you to use public transport does not have to wear a mask.
- You do not have to wear a mask if you are using public transport to escape danger.
Will Shoppers Need to Wear Masks?
Unless you are under 11 years of age or medically exempt (as above) it will be mandatory for shoppers to cover their faces in England from next Friday July 24th.
Anyone shopping without a mask, unless they are medically exempt, will face a £100 fine.
People won’t be required to wear a face covering in places where it’s not practical – such as in pubs, cafes or restaurants although of course you can choose to do so for your own protection (and lift them up to eat / or drink).
So, you can take your face covering off if it is essential for you to:
- Take medication
Who Will Enforce the Rules?
At present the police will ensure compliance, rather than retailers themselves but shopkeepers can refuse entry to people not wearing face coverings and police enforcement should be used as a last resort. Business owners or employees cannot detain someone for not wearing a mask or face covering until the police arrive though.
We advise having sealed sanitised masks ready to purchase at your business entrance.
Public Transport & Travelling
Since June 15th, anyone travelling by bus, train, ferry or plane in England must wear a face covering.
Some passengers are exempt from the rules including:
- Children under 11
- People with disabilities
- Those with breathing difficulties
- Anyone travelling with someone who relies on lip reading
- If it is “reasonably necessary” for you to eat or drink, you can remove the face covering to do so.
People can be refused travel if they don’t follow these rules and can be fined as a last resort.
Cruise ships, school transport, taxis and private hire vehicles are presently excluded although Uber has made face coverings compulsory so we recommend asking your service provider.
Face Masks in The Rest of The World
Obviously foreign travel is still restricted but if you’re travelling abroad on business, legislation varies greatly. As some countries are much more likely to wear face masks and coverings to protect against Coronavirus anyway; it makes sense to protect yourself, others and be culturally sensitive.
*People in Asian countries are the most likely to wear them.
90% of people in Singapore wear them (it is an offence not to wear a mask outside your home).
In Europe, the proportion of people wearing masks is highest in Spain (86%), followed by Italy (83%) and France (78%).
In the US, the rate is 73%, which is slightly higher than there neighbour Canada (60%).
In the U.K presently only 36% of people wear a mask in public – although this will obviously greatly increase now.
Stay Ahead of a Second Wave
We think it’s fair to say that we will all be forever changed by this experience, personally and professionally; many of us will continue to work in the new ways we have adapted and utilise technology to remain and feel connected more than ever.
Businesses have had to diversify and put safety measures in place to be able to open, trade and survive. Companies will need to branch out in new directions to help aid their recovery and the team at Iced will be on hand to offer ideas, support and help anyone who needs it.
We are certainly not public health experts; we are here to try to help keep our clients stay safe and evolving. Business strategy, planning, promotion, enhanced online functionality, new ways of doing things (e.g. online classes and consultations, drive-thru or remote events) and marketing will be a huge part of our new normal.
Medical Experts have modelled a reasonable worse-case scenario where they fear a second wave of infections, could see 120,000 hospital patients die this winter.
We of course have no way of knowing if this thoroughly depressing statistic will become reality but what we can take away from our experience so far is to adjust plans as best we can and continue to do our bit to stay safe and support one another.
This sure isn’t the time to become complacent – put processes, new technology, additional website functionality, new services in place and make full advantage of your online presence now – just in case we need to lockdown again in the future.
Be Safe & Boost Your Brand
As mentioned, from Friday 24th July, it will become mandatory for everyone in England to wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets.
If you would like staff to be more easily identifiable or to sell or help raise funds or promote causes, we can provide bespoke branded signage or any of the below:
- Sneeze Guards
- Floor Stickers:
- 30 cm Circle
- 100 cm Circle
- 50 cm Square
- Wait Here Floor Stickers – 100 X 15cm
- Window – Static Cling Sticker – 100 X 50cm
- Professional Branded Face Masks with Filter
- Premium Masks (Multi-Layered & Have a Pocket for A Carbon Filter)
If you have a message you want to get across, to sell masks to the public on entry or to show support we can provide Personalised Face Masks that will be custom designed and printed.
The whole team hope you stay safe and well.
Please Email Alex for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org
*The data comes from surveys ran in nearly 30 countries.