Sainsbury’s hit by backlash to unmasked staff

Sainsbury’s shoppers are said to be “appalled” at staff members ignoring the supermarket’s advice on face coverings.

The news comes after yesterday’s “Freedom Day”, when virtually all Covid-19 restrictions were lifted across England.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts encouraged customers to continue wearing masks because “many of our colleagues would feel more comfortable”.

However, one customer from Chester complained that “the only people *not* wearing a mask” were the supermarket’s employees.

READ MORE: Sainsbury’s encourages masks after July 19

“You’re out of tune with your own customers,” she continued.

Another added: “Just got back from @sainsburys and it was wonderful to see that every shopper had masks on.”

“It wasn’t so nice to see that most of the staff gives zero care and can’t be bothered to wear masks.”

A Sheffield shopper argued that Sainsbury’s had prioritised staff choice over customer safety.

“A good 80 per cent plus staff not wearing a mask in @sainsburys while a tannoy plays asking customers to keep them safe by wearing one,” he claimed.

Although some called for masks to be compulsory in stores, the Big 4 grocer signalled it would allow people to make up their own minds.

“We are encouraging our customers and colleagues to wear a face covering and the vast majority of people are choosing to do so,” a Sainsbury’s spokesperson told The Telegraph.

“Safety continues to be our top priority.”

The supermarket has kept hand sanitiser stations and perspex screens between shoppers and staff.

However, it is the only Big 4 grocer to scrap screens between self-service checkouts, a move which provoked further criticism.

“They helped make shoppers feel safer,” said one member of the public.

“Now I have to rely on other shoppers doing the right thing and wearing a mask. 

“I am less likely to use your store where I may be right next to an unmasked person.”

Another claimed to feel “pretty queasy” when he realised the barriers had been removed.

The news comes after supermarket bosses warned that the soaring number of self-isolating workers could lead to early closures.



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