Asda in Havant slammed for not enforcing face mask wearing

STAFF and inconsiderate customers at a Havant supermarket have been criticised for not wearing their face masks properly.

Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 5:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 5:24 pm

Customer Mark Honey, from Waterlooville, said he was disgusted to see customers flouting the rule which says they must wear face masks inside when he visited on December 19.

He said he was further horrified that, after complaining to security, he then spotted a member of staff not wearing a mask at all.

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Asda in Havant, picture by Google Maps.

He said: ‘Within three minutes of being in the store I came across what was quite shocking – an employee not wearing a face mask, pushing a pallet of food through the store. His mask was around his neck. I stopped him and asked him to please put his mask on, and his reply was “I don’t have to wear one”.

‘I was shocked and alarmed that he would make a comment like that. On leaving the store, I spoke to the security desk and told him about the employee, he shook his head and was alarmed as I was.

‘I just want News readers to be aware of what Asda is doing, as this guy was handling food.'

Mark says that on a further two visits to the store in January, he has witnessed more staff not wearing masks, or not wearing them properly, along with lackadaisical wearing from other customers.

File photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

He has spoken to the store manager and written three complaints to Asda’s head office, but says he is yet to receive a sufficient response, which is why he contacted The News.

He said: ‘It’s quite frankly a joke. Asda is putting people’s lives at risk. A national company like this should be fined and publicly shamed .’

A spokesman for Asda said: ‘We have strongly encouraged customers to wear face coverings in our stores since legislation on wearing a mask in retail spaces was introduced in July.

‘In September we introduced 1,000 Covid safety marshals in our stores to work alongside our security colleagues monitoring face coverings, offering free coverings to customers who have forgotten theirs and encouraging adherence to social distancing guidelines.

‘We are grateful to our colleagues for their hard work in incredibly difficult circumstances and we implore customers to treat them with respect and comply with the mandatory requirement to wear a face covering unless they have a medical exemption.

‘If a customer has forgotten their face covering, we will continue to offer them one free of charge – but should a customer refuse to wear a covering without a valid medical reason and be in any way challenging to our colleagues about doing so - our security colleagues will refuse their entry.’

In September, it became mandatory for all store colleagues in England, Wales and Scotland to wear a covering while at work unless they had a medical exemption.

The public have been required by law to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces from July 24 – including shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and transport hubs.

People exempt from this rule include children under 11, people with physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, people for who wearing a face covering would cause severe distress, or if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate.

Other exemptions include to avoid harm or injury, and emergency workers.

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