Retailers and caterers exempt from wearing masks in depots

Retailers and caterers visiting depots will not be obliged to wear face coverings when new rules come into force on 8 August.

The Covid-19 Unit in government confirmed to FWD that visitors to “storage and distribution” settings who were there on behalf of their employer were exempt from the requirement targeted at members of the public.

This exemption will also be extended to other visitors to cash and carries, such as supplier reps.

New laws on face coverings will only apply to members of the public, with the policy designed to protect the general public and not applying to business and trades people.

Businesses that own depots can still choose to request for face coverings to be worn on site, but this is not a legal requirement.

The exemption in the legislation states the requirement does not apply to “a person responsible for a relevant place or an employee of that person acting in the course of their employment; or to any other person providing services in the relevant place under arrangements made with the person responsible for a relevant place.”

Therefore a customer coming in to buy trade items or a supplier representative visiting for work purposes, is “acting in the course of their employment” and they have an “arrangement” with the wholesaler to enter the premises – and are not required to wear face coverings.

FWD Chief Executive James Bielby said: “It’s good to have clarification from government that the rules on face coverings do not apply to people visiting wholesale as part of their job.

“Wholesalers may choose to request that customers wear them but it is not a legal requirement.”

cash and carries coronavirus covid-19 depots face coverings FWD Government James Bielby Wholesalers