Tesco has been accused of failing to enforce coronavirus rules and of not having a “responsible attitude” toward safety measures.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said the supermarket was one of several chains not monitoring customer requirements for wearing face coverings. Which has been mandatory in shops since July 24.
He highlighted it as an example of companies that “do not properly follow” the rules, in an effort by councils to obtain tougher powers to close companies that do not adhere to Coronavirus disease-Security.
Revealing what local leaders paid the government for in last week’s talks Before they collapseBurnham said ministers used a “raw formula” to decide how much money the region should receive.
“We have also advocated a more place-oriented approach,” he told colleagues on the House of Lords’ Economic Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday.
“We have requested brief closing powers for all commercial buildings that have not been deemed safe against Coronavirus.
“I am not just talking about bars and restaurants, there are large supermarkets in Greater Manchester in my view that did not properly implement the requirements regarding face coverings, and I will mention one series: Tesco.
“I don’t think they have taken a responsible stance on this issue – they said they don’t have to implement that. Well, I think those organizations should apply that.”
He continued, “So we have requested brief targeted closure powers so that we can temporarily close places that we do not believe are properly adhering to the protocols.
“We think this would be a better approach than blanket restrictions that may or may not have the effect the government wants on the virus.
“We have been under these restrictions for three months, so, in cooperation with Leicester, we may have more experience with local restrictions than anyone else.
We have seen that they may have reduced the number of cases, but they have not really succeeded in changing the situation. “
A Tesco spokesperson told Sky News: “Customers must wear face coverings when they shop in our stores, and everyone has a role in it, unless they are exempted as per government directives.
“We have clear signs explaining this, and we have packages of face coverings available for purchase near our storefront for any customers that have forgotten.”
They added that the government “made clear that it was up to the police, not individual retailers,” to enforce the law.
“Our colleagues do not have enforcement powers, and asking them to do so would expose them to an increased risk of verbal and physical abuse.”
This is the second time this week that the supermarket has come under fire, after it was accused of halting the improper sale of some items as part of the Welsh government’s attempt to ensure that “essential items” are only sold during the 17-day lockdown.
Steve Rotherham, the mayor of the Liverpool city area, also harshly criticized how it handled the area entering level 2.
He told the House of Lords that the talks with the government had been “far from negotiations,” but that local leaders were told what was happening, “No, no, no but.”
He claimed that the ministers “did not provide us with any assessments of the economic impact” of the move and were sometimes “making things up as they progressed.”
It comes Another 367 people have died from COVID-19 in the UK – The highest daily number since May 27, when 422 deaths were reported as the country gradually exited from its first peak.