Head of Friars Square shopping centre: "Mandatory face coverings will be 'difficult' to enforce"

Although the government mandated face coverings as compulsory when shopping yesterday, some questions remain.

Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 2:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 2:12 pm

Andrew Margieson, from Friars Square shopping centre says that face coverings should be worn in shops and supermarkets, however it does not currently state they need to be worn in covered shopping centres.

He said: "At Friars Square we will be encouraging the wearing of face coverings and increasing our signage package across the site to promote this in Mall areas.

"Of course this then becomes mandatory once a customer enters each shop.

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Friars Square head said he is worried mandatory face masks will lead to confrontation

"I think personally that this is good practice in the current environment although it could have a slight detrimental effect to high street retail in the short term, this I am sure is something that most people will get used too as we progress into the “new normal”.

Wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England is to become mandatory from 24 July.

Those who fail to comply with the new rules will face a fine of up to £100, the government announced yesterday.

It has been compulsory on public transport in England since 15 June.

Children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt.

Mr Margieson continued:

"As with many of the guidelines issued by the government to aid with moving out of lockdown our ethos in the centre is to encourage not enforce."

He stressed that the shopping centre would be working hand in hand with Thames Valley Police, but that it could become a difficult issue if people don't comply.

"We obviously work closely with the TVP who will of course have to deal with the enforcement issue, this is something I feel will be much harder to manage and could lead to a lot of confrontation."