Sweeney’s Budgens in Abbots Langley have made the “impossible choice” to completely ban anyone from the shop who isn’t wearing a face mask.
The convenience store on the High Street decided that, because some of their customers and staff suffer from serious health issues or are of an older age, it was necessary to stop anyone without a mask coming in.
This is different to the government ruling, which says people can enter premises without masks if they have a valid health reason.
In a statement, shop owner Dary Sweeney said: “The virus is spreading exponentially, so we all must be more vigilant in keeping families, friends and work colleagues safe.
“We have customers with serious health issues and a high proportion of older customers, many of these are vulnerable. We have colleagues classified as vulnerable for both health and age reasons.
“We also have customers who cannot wear face masks for physical and mental health reasons.
“Many of these customers are vulnerable too and are valued customers and friends.
“We are faced with an impossible choice. While both groups have equally valid health rights, vulnerable colleagues have no choice, they have to come to work, they cannot work from home and are classified key workers.
“No one knowingly would come in store with COVID-19 symptoms, unfortunately carriers of the virus can be asymptomatic and do not know they are spreading the virus. Wearing a face mask reduces the risk of spreading the virus.
“For these reasons, we have Independently chosen to make the wearing of face mask mandatory for all in store.
“Customers who cannot wear face mask, for whatever reason, can use our phone and collect service or email orders.
“If neither of these options are suitable, contact us and we can discuss further shopping alternatives.
“Clearly, this will inconvenience and upset some customers. It is also difficult and upsetting for colleagues to have this conversation with customers.
“We are constantly reviewing the situation and advice. We ask for your continued support and understanding at keeping this dreadful virus at bay.”