With cases of Covid-19 rising in some areas of Wales, the Welsh Government has made the wearing of face coverings in shops and other enclosed public spaces mandatory across Wales, as part of wider efforts to Keep Wales Safe.
The guidance in Wales continues to require members of the public to keep a two-metre distance from others, except in the case of people from the same household, and those being helped by carers.
The two-metre distance guidance applies in all areas, including shops and supermarkets.
The Minister said:
“The new rules about wearing face coverings in shops will help to limit the spread of the virus, and we of course expect all shoppers to abide by that guidance.
“However, we urge people to remember that wearing a face covering is not a substitute for social distancing. Just because someone is wearing a face covering, does not mean they should ignore the guidelines on distancing, even if everyone else around them also has their faces covered.
“While the wearing of face coverings can and will help, the benefits they provide are limited if people don’t stick to the two-metre guidance.”
“Shoppers have a personal responsibility to make sure they keep others safe by adhering to the guidelines, and keep a two-metre distance from others at all times. Controlling the virus is the responsibility of the public and businesses alike.
“We also want shoppers to bear in mind that many of their fellow shoppers may have health concerns which make them more vulnerable to the impacts of Covid-19, and they will be keen to ensure the proper distancing guidelines are followed.
“Supermarkets have guidelines and protocols in place to make sure shoppers keep their distance from one another.
“The law requires shops and other premises open to the public to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus, including measures to ensure two-metre distancing is maintained.
“If concerns are raised, the Welsh Government has given local authorities the power to take action against those supermarkets, shops and other establishments which are not abiding by the regulations, and not doing everything they can to keep the public safe.
“Moreover, as the First Minister has made clear, supermarkets risk not only enforcement measures if they fail to keep guidelines in place, but also reputational damage, leading to a loss of confidence among shoppers.”