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Face Coverings

From Thursday 24th September, colleagues in retail stores in England are required to wear a face covering. It has been mandatory for customers to wear a face covering whilst in shops in England since late July. Face coverings in shops are already mandatory in Scotland. 

The regulations on face coverings for colleagues only apply in areas where colleagues come into close contact with members of the public (eg the shop floor). Face coverings are not required in backroom areas or stock rooms. 

To help communicate this clearly to customers, we have produced posters which can be downloaded below. 

We also have some simple guidance available for retailers: 

  • Display signage at the entrance to the store and other points as needed in the store to remind customers of this policy.
  • Explain to customers, if challenged, why you have adopted this policy:
    • It is the keep others safe and limits the transmission of Covid-19.
    • Many customers have asked for this policy to be implemented.
  • You can ask customers to temporarily remove their face coverings in the event that you have to identify someone against a proof of age card for selling age-restricted products. The Retail of Alcohol Standards Group (RASG) has issued a new poster alerting customers that look under 25 that they may be asked to remove their face coverings to help check their age. The poster can be downloaded here.
  • Explain but do not seek to enforce your face coverings policy if customers become aggressive or are not willing to follow this policy.
  • In an emergency, call 999.
  • To report incidents of abuse, intimidation or violence, call 101 and collect information: recorded images, details of the crime and details of the perpetrator.
  • Guidance on reporting violence and abuse is available in ACS’ Crime Guidance here (pg.3) and ACS’ animation on managing violence and abuse in convenience stores is available here.


Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.

This is a personal choice, and is not necessary in law. If you would like to use an exemption card you can use the PDF attachments on this page.

Those who have an age, health or disability reason to not wear a face covering should not be routinely asked to provide any written evidence of this. Written evidence includes exemption cards.



Customer Facing Posters

Colleague Facing Posters