ACS chief executive James Lowman

Shop staff working behind perspex screens will not have to wear a face covering after the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) clarified guidance it issued on Tuesday.

From 24 September face coverings must be worn by staff as well as customers in shops. However, the new guidance reads: “Face coverings must be worn by retail, leisure and hospitality staff working in indoor areas which are open to the public and where they are likely to come into contact with a member of the public, for example shops, supermarkets and restaurants. If these businesses have taken steps in line with HSE guidance for Covid-19 Secure workplaces to create a physical barrier between workers and members of the public then staff behind the barrier will not be required to wear a face covering.”

Other exemptions include where colleagues are not in a customer facing environment such as a stock room, if they have a hidden disability or another health condition, or if they are with someone who relies on lip reading to communicate with them.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome the additional clarification from Government on the wearing of face coverings by colleagues in stores. Thousands of retailers have already invested in their stores through the installation of Perspex screens and other PPE for colleagues, so it’s welcome that these mitigating measures are being recognised by the Government. We will continue to work with retailers to ensure that they can comply with the detail of the new regulations.”

Posters on face coverings and exemptions are available to download from the ACS website at: https://www.acs.org.uk/advice/face-coverings