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Car retailers will not have to enforce mandatory face coverings rule

Car retailers will not be called upon to enforce the mandatory wearing of face coverings by customers at UK dealerships under new guidance issued by Government.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that face coverings must be worn in shops and supermarkets in England from July 24 as part of COVID-19 infection mitigation measures which bring the country in-line with Scotland.

But, while the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) was clarifying the implications for car retailers this morning (July 14), Sky News reported that the police, not businesses, would be responsible for enforcing the any new regulations imposed on the sector.

Anyone failing to wear a face covering while shopping will be subject to a fine of up to £100, or £50 if paid within 14 days.

A spokesman for Number 10 said: "There is growing evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from coronavirus.

"The prime minister has been clear that people should be wearing face coverings in shops and we will make this mandatory from July 24."

Further detail regarding the new regulations regarding mandatory face coverings is set to be revealed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in The House of Commons this afternoon.

Speaking to Sky News today, the British Chambers of Commerce's co-executive director, Claire Walker, called for clarity on the measures.

She said: "Businesses need clarity on the approach to the wearing of face coverings that is consistent and supported by public health evidence.

"Shops and other indoor businesses need to know what the new rules are as soon as possible.

"Updated guidance, including on enforcement, should be issued swiftly so firms can maintain their COVID-secure status and continue their operations successfully."

Businesses across the UK, including car retailers will be hopeful that any ruling regarding the mandatory wearing of face coverings in retail environments doesn’t stall the post-lockdown recovery effort.

Yesterday, a survey published by the NFDA indicated that car buyers were increasingly at ease with social distancing measures and the prospect of spending time in a car showroom.

The BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor has revealed that UK retailers delivered a 3.4% increase in sales during June – the sector’s highest increase since May 2018.

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