Published on 24th July 2020

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner David Keane has urged Cheshire residents to be respectful to retail workers as the wearing of face covering in shops and takeaway venues becomes mandatory from today.

He has also expressed concerns about the lack of information provided to police forces to enforce the new rules.

Last week, the government announced that from Friday 24 July it would be compulsory to wear a face covering in shops, supermarkets and takeaway venues and that police officers would be able to issue fines to those flouting the rules.

However, police forces in England and Wales are yet to see the regulations, even though they are now expected to enforce them.

PCC David Keane says this is another example of how the government is not consulting police leaders on important measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“Police and crime Commissioners and chief constables across England and Wales were not consulted on these plans to make face coverings mandatory in local shops and we are yet to see the regulations.

“I would urge everyone to act responsibly and help to stop the spread of the virus and save lives. In Cheshire, we have embraced the four Es approach of engaging with residents, explaining the regulations, encouraging them to follow them and only using enforcement as a last resort. The chief constable has assured me that officers will continue to follow this approach in relation to new face covering regulations.

“We have heard that retail workers are up to 75 per cent more likely to die from the virus than the rest of the population and concerns have been raised that these new rules could lead to our retail workers facing even more confrontation than usual.

"Any aggression or abuse towards retail workers is not acceptable. I have stressed the importance of Cheshire Police ensuring that the safety of our local retail workers is a priority.”