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Scottish retailers urged by Usdaw to maintain two metre social distancing in shops despite mandatory face coverings

Date: 02 July 2020 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw is urging retailers to maintain social distancing in shops at two metres, as agreed in joint safety guidance, despite the Scottish Government today announcing that face coverings will be mandatory in shops. The union also calls on customers to respect staff who have to enforce safety in stores.
Stewart Forrest – Usdaw’s Scottish divisional Officer says: “Usdaw worked with the Scottish Retail Consortium on joint safety guidance for shops based on the two-metre rule and in our experience retailers have taken that seriously and are complying. We see no reason why that should be relaxed now that the Scottish Government has made face coverings mandatory in stores.
“Our big concern is who enforces mandatory face coverings? We do not want shopworkers to be expected to turn people away from the store because they do not have a face covering or it is not being worn properly. We accept that face coverings can limit the spread of the virus, but they do more to protect others rather than the wearer and that needs to be understood.
“Safety in stores needs customer co-operation and I am shocked that abuse of shopworkers has doubled during the Coronavirus emergency. Many incidents are related to enforcing social distancing and we fear that compulsory face coverings will just add another flashpoint to an already difficult situation. We urge customers to respect staff and observe social distancing. At no time should abuse be a part of the job. Shopworkers deserve respect.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For further information please contact Usdaw’s Media Officer, David Williams on: 0161 249 2469, 07798 696 603 or by e-mail to [email protected]
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers