United Kingdom

Face mask rules in all supermarkets explained as UK’s Plan B restrictions end

Covid rules brought in to deal with rising Omicron cases are coming to end this week. Here’s what that means for face mask rules in supermarkets across England, from Morrisons to Marks & Spencer

The legal requirement to wear a face mask in indoor spaces is to be axed this week as Plan B restrictions come to an end

Plan B restrictions that were introduced towards the end of last year, in a bid to control the spread of the Omicron Covid variant, are set to end this week.

While work from home guidance has already ended, Boris Johnson confirmed in a statement in the House of Commons that all restrictions including mandatory face masks will come to end on Thursday January 27.

Johnson announced that “once regulations lapse the government will no longer mandate the wearing of face masks anywhere”.

So what does this mean for face mask rules in supermarkets? Here’s the guidance from Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Aldi, Asda and more.

Sainsbury’s face mask rules

Sainsbury’s issued an update about their face mask rules as Plan B comes to an end


SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Sainsbury’s has issued a rule update on face mask rules in all its stores. The supermarket chain has said: “Safety remains our highest priority. From Thursday, we’re asking our customers and colleagues in England to continue to wear a face covering in our stores if they are able to.

“In Scotland and Wales face coverings remain mandatory for those who can wear them in our stores, in line with the latest Government restrictions.”

It added that Sainsbury’s stores will continue to have a range of safety measures in place including screens and sanitising stations.

Do I need to wear a face mask in Tesco?

Tesco has yet issue an update regarding its rules on face coverings when England switches back to Covid Plan A this week.

For now, the store’s website still reads that face coverings are mandatory – unless you are exempt – as per the government guidelines brought in November 2021. But this is likely to be updated soon.

Asda’s Covid mask rules

All safety measures including mandatory face coverings seem to be place, according Asda’s website. However, this is according to the November guidance and will likely be updated to reflect the end of Covid Plan B restrictions.

Though masks will no longer be compulsory, health guidance will remain for people to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces including supermarkets

Wearing a face mask in Aldi

Health guidance remains that people continue to wear mask in crowded or enclosed spaces


SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

No updates have been made by Aldi about changes to face mask rules in stores. The website says that face coverings are compulsory as per Plan B restrictions. But new updates could be issued once the restrictions come to an end on Thursday.

While shoppers won’t be legally required to wear face masks, everyone is advised to continue wearing face coverings in settings where they come into contact with people they don’t normally meet.

Does Lidl require face masks in shops?

Lidl’s website still describes face masks as mandatory in stores – unless exempt – in accordance with November’s guidelines.

This is likely to change this week, but like other supermarkets health guidance might suggest shoppers continue to wear face masks in crowded or enclosed spaces.

Marks & Spencer’s updated face coverings advice

The M&S website reads that face coverings are mandatory for all shoppers across all UK stores, with the exemption of young children and people with certain health conditions. Customers were not required to wear at the M&S cafes when seated to eat or drink.

The guidance on the site will likely change soon to reflect the end of Plan B restrictions. Health guidance still remains for people to wear masks in crowded public settings.

Morrisons face mask rules

Morrisons’ website states it still requires customers and employees to wear face masks and social distance as per previous rules. The guidance is likely to change soon to reflect the end of restrictions as the UK goes back to Plan A, which focuses on vaccines and booster rollout alongside advice instead of mandatory rules.

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