Waterstones will encourage face masks after July 19

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aterstones has become one of the first stores to say it will “encourage” customers to wear face masks after Freedom Day to protect its staff and fellow book lovers.

The store took to twitter on Wednesday to let the public know that after the lift of restrictions on July 19 it will still ask people to wear face coverings and observe social distancing.

They said this will ensure people respect the safety of others as the book shop has an “enclosed browsing” space.

The announcement earned praise from vulnerable people who had been worried about entering public spaces next week.

Among the sea of comments, people wrote: “Thank you Waterstones. Many of us haven’t had our second vaccine doses yet and vulnerable people are being forced into self imposed shielding. Thank you for being considerate of others.”

“I am still extremely vulnerable and nervous about the lifting of restrictions. Thank you for helping immunocompromised people feel a little safer in what is still a terrifying time for us.”

A statement from the book store said: “From Monday 19 July, the English government will remove the mandatory wear of face coverings in public and the legislative requirement to adhere to 1m social distancing.

“Whilst we will not enforce mask wearing in our English shops, we respectfully encourage our booksellers and our customers to follow the spirit of government guidance, continuing to observe the same safety measures of wearing face masks in crowded and enclosed spaces, and maintaining the social distancing that have helped to create a safe shopping environment.

“We also ask our staff to continue employing the three Primary Control Measures (Face Masks, appropriate Social Distancing and Cleanliness and Hand Hygiene) that havekept both our staff and our customers secure during the ongoing pandemic.”

It comes after Prime minister Boris Johnson unveiled new plans for unlocking England on July 19.

He told everyone wearing a facemask will no longer be enforced by law in England after Freedom Day.

But he also said he “expects and recommends that people wear a face-covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with those you don’t normally meet”.

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