Face masks to become mandatory for retail in England – here’s the advice for garages

Retail definition likely to be same as that used for business rate relief and grants but will only apply to customers

Face masks to become mandatory for retail in England – here’s the advice for garages
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Customers entering retail environments in England are required to wear face masks from Friday (July 24) but many garages remain confused about the classification of a retail business and the rules surrounding the mandatory use of face masks.

The new rule, which only applies to customers, will bring England into line with Scotland and other major European nations like Spain, Italy and Germany.

Those who fail to comply with the new rules will face a fine of up to £100, reduced to £50 if the fine is paid within 14 days.

On its dedicated business support hub, The Motor Ombudsman states: “Customers entering garages, car showrooms and dealerships will need to wear a face cover from 24 July, when the new regulation for shops and supermarkets comes into force.

“Employees are not required to wear face covers.”

In both Wales and Northern Ireland, face coverings are strongly advised but not mandatory in a retail environment.

Related: COVID-19 guidance for Automotive aftermarket updated to include face covering rule

The latest scientific evidence suggests that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.

Health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock said: “The liability for wearing a face covering lies with the individual.

“Should an individual without an exemption refuse to wear a face covering, a shop can refuse them entry and can call the police if people refuse to comply, the police have the formal enforcement powers and can issue a fine.

“This is in line with how shops would normally manage their customers and enforcement is of course a last resort, and we fully expect the public to comply with the rules as they have done throughout the pandemic.”

Related: Action to be taken against businesses not managing COVID-19 risk, HSE warns

Many independent garages will have argued a case that they are a retail premises for the purposes of business rate relief as well as coronavirus grants.

Some industry experts suggest that the same definition will be used when it comes to the enforced use of face masks in England.

A WAIglobal spokesperson said: “With the government announcing that it will be mandatory to wear face masks from July 24 in all retail shops, the aftermarket is now being encouraged to invest in a new range of PPE equipment that will offer motorists reassurance when shopping and commuting.

“Enforcement will be carried out by police – not retail staff – and anyone failing to wear a face covering while shopping will be subject to a fine of up to £100.”

Will you be encouraging your customers to wear face masks? Share your comments below.

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Home Page Forums Face masks to become Mandatory for retail businesses – here’s the advice for garages

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #198708 Reply

    Customers entering retail environments in England are required to wear face masks from Friday (July 24) but many garages remain confused about the cla
    [See the full post at: Face masks to become Mandatory for retail businesses – here’s the advice for garages]

    #198737 Reply
    Colin Dingwall

    I work on reception and have a screen in front of me. Should customers coming into reception be required to wear a face mask? A reception area is basically a shop in my view.
    Many thanks,

    #198743 Reply

    Hi Linda, as with everything surrounding the pandemic there’s lots of grey areas when it comes to government guidance and legislation and the use of masks is indeed one of them. While there’s no official line on this specifically for garages, GW understands that the same retail definition used for business rate relief and coronavirus grants are likely to be used here, which would suggest that customers entering a garage should wear a face mask from Friday.

    #198745 Reply
    Andy Humble

    Having read that article I’m just as confused as before! It doesn’t give any real information as to whether we should tell customers to wear masks, just an advert from a company selling them! It’s my customers who would be wearing them, I wouldn’t be buying them!

    #198746 Reply
    Barry Chandler

    It seems prudent to ask customers that wish to enter the premises to wear face masks. The other option is to keep them outside the doors. The rules seem clear.

    #198767 Reply


    #198780 Reply
    Nigel Goodwin

    Hi not sure if my sales staff will need to ware masks when taking to customers on the fore court and then whilst back in the office ?

    #198852 Reply

    Dont see the point, beginning of lockdown, yes understand
    But now several months in why bother, no matter how hard we try
    This Plague/Milley Cirrus thing will continue to spread.

    Yes wash hands and 2 meter gaps etc

    Had a customer in earlier today, after working on their car
    Comes walks in office “Do I need a mask?”

    “Err no, just your money” (Bill was £650+VAT)

    #198987 Reply
    Alastair Mayne

    We no longer sell fuel, but our Service Reception area is basically also where our ‘petrol shop’ was. Until we had a screen for our reception desk we were able to ‘deal with’ workshop customers using the night service hatch in the window. We could place a basket through the hatch for customers to drop their car keys into, pass the credit card machine to them through this, and finally their documents and an anti-bacterial wipe with their keys. Once we had a screen we cordoned off our waiting area, continued our practice of a basket for the keys and anti-bacterial wipes etc and strictly limited our customers to one at a time in reception. Since last Friday we have also enforced the policy that customers should wear masks. The majority of our customers have been fully compliant with all of this, most of them are actually appreciative and thank us for taking these precautions. Dealing with the public I have been surprised just how cautious/frightened some people are, and it is the most worried customers that we want to reassure. Of course we have had the odd person who has not wanted to comply, but they are also often the type of person who will also happily drive around in their car without a current MOT, or with a know safety issue because ‘they can’t manage without it’ to get it repaired. We are learning about this virus and how to deal with it every day and the way I see it is that we learn to adapt so that we keep everyone (staff & customers) safe and our business going. We are maintaining peoples vehicles for the same reason, not just to keep them safe, but for the safety of everyone that may be around them.

    #198988 Reply
    Philip Wilde

    I have no problem with a mask in shops but if I have to wear a mask I expect shop / retail staff to be wearing one as well. One rule for all is the only way

    #199046 Reply
    janet grist

    we were told we were not entitled to business rates relief nor a business grant as we were not classed as retail.

    #200165 Reply

    Take the other day, customer parks in workshop door, walks straight into
    Workshop no mask insists i looked at his car there and then.

    He got two word reply, second involved the word ‘off’

    #200164 Reply

    Odd wont mention details but some guy has applied for umpteen grants and got them for his umpteen business, toilet cleaning, car park attendant, double glazing etc

    #201157 Reply

    What is it with this #cornovirus

    People just keep walking into the workshop and start talking to like your their best buddies.

    When they do that, get told next week before can look at it, if they park in middle of yard, get told week after next

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)


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