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Protesters stage 'mask-free shopping trip' in Tesco branch

Rebecca Speare-Cole
·1-min read

Watch: Protesters stage 'mask-free shopping trip' in Tesco

Anti-mask protesters have staged a “face-covering free shopping trip” to a Tesco branch in Essex.

Footage circulating on social media shows a group of people walking through aisles in the supermarket in Chelmsford without masks.

Under current laws, it is illegal to go inside a shop or travel on public transport without a face covering as part of the government’s measures to control coronavirus transmission.

An exception is for those who have certain medical conditions that make wearing a mask unsafe.

Read: Have your say: When are you planning a rule of six get-together outside?

The mask-free shopping trip appears to be part of an organised protest against the enforcement of face coverings.

Police were called to the store on Saturday to speak to those who were not wearing masks, Tesco told the Chelmsford Weekly News.

Footage circulating on social media shows a group of people walking through aisles in the supermarket in Chelmsford without masks.
Footage circulating on social media shows a group of people walking through aisles in the supermarket in Chelmsford without masks.

The shoppers reportedly told staff they were exempt from wearing masks.

The supermarket said staff will encourage customers to abide by the law but added that they would not “put themselves at risk if challenged”.

The Department of Health and Social Care did not comment on the incident but pointed towards the government's coronavirus face mask rules.

DHSC reminds shoppers that masks are “largely intended to protect others, not the wearer, against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission".

Yahoo News UK has also contacted Tesco and Essex Police for comment.

Watch: Lab tests show massive difference in effectiveness of best and worst masks