Trade union Usdaw has slammed the government’s decision to ease lockdown restrictions from July 19.
The organisation’s general secretary, Paddy Lillis, said the decision is “too much too soon.”
He said the government should not be weakening safety measures in retail stores and shops at the same time as other venues.
This comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that wearing face coverings in retail stores, public transport and hospitality venues will no longer be a legal requirement in England from July 19.
Johnson said the government would let people “make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus” after legal restrictions are lifted.
“Wearing a face covering in crowded public areas like shops is not merely a personal choice, it Is an important measure to help protect workers who have no option but to interact with large numbers of people as part of their job,” Paddy Lillis said.
“Usdaw is urging the shopping public to continue to wear face coverings, along with necessary hand sanitisation and maintaining social distancing to help make shops safer and limit the spread of Covid-19,” Lillis continued.
“We also continue to call on employers to maintain appropriate safety measures and ensure that they are being followed consistently, in every stores.
“Many retail workers are at greater risk of catching the virus and bringing it home to their families. Supermarket workers and delivery drivers have worked throughout the pandemic to keep the country supplied with essentials.
“These key workers must be valued, respected and protected.”