SAINSBURY’S has hired security guards to stand outside stores to stop groups from shopping together.
The guards will also stop customers without a face mask from entering branches, unless they are exempt.
Couples and families are banned from shopping together at Sainsbury’s
Ministers yesterday told councils to enforce customer limits in stores over fears supermarkets could become hotspots for coronavirus.
Sainsbury’s said the security guards will start work this week after a successful trial over the weekend.
It means couples and families won’t be able to shop together.
Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Tesco enforced similar rules during the first lockdown in March last year.
Parents were urged not to bring children with them if they could help it.
The retailer has also significantly reduced the number of customers allowed in store at any one time, although limits vary depending on the size of the branch.
On top of these measures, it has increased the amount of cleaning carried out on the shop floor and will continue to enforce social distancing rules.
Sainsbury’s boss Simon Roberts said: “I’ve spent a lot of time in our stores reviewing the latest situation over the last few days and on behalf of all my colleagues, I am asking our customers to help us keep everyone safe.
“The vast majority of customers are shopping safely, but I have also seen some customers trying to shop without a mask and shopping in larger family groups.
“Please help us to keep all our colleagues and customers safe by always wearing a mask and by shopping alone. Everyone’s care and consideration matters now more than ever.”
It comes after Morrisons said staff will stop customers from going inside stores without a face covering unless they are medically exempt.
As part of the rules, customers who arrive at Morrisons stores without one will be offered a mask free of charge.
If they then refuse to wear one, they won’t be allowed to enter stores
The only exception will be if you’re allowed not to wear a face covering for medical reasons, such as a physical or mental illness.
Children under the age of 11 also don’t have to wear a face mask.
As part of government guidelines, you can be fined £200 for not wearing a face mask in a public setting – again, unless you are exempt.
Fines double each time someone is found in breach of the rules, up until a maximum of £6,400.