Staff and customers at a Tesco superstore were seen without masks in the weeks before a “small number of colleagues” tested positive for Covid-19, according to CoventryLive readers.
Shoppers reacting to our story today (August 4), claimed there had been a lack of face coverings being used before the cases and called for the temporary closure of the branch on Coventry’s Arena Park.
Earlier today, the food giant said that the “safety of our colleagues and customers is our number one priority” and they are currently liaising with health officials over the outbreak.
The number of staff to have tested positive for Covid-19 is unknown and the store remains open as normal.
On CoventryLive’s Facebook page, Mandy Kelly wrote: “We were there today wearing masks, using hand sanitizers etc. Some people walked past us without masks or lanyards to indicate they were exempt from them so I asked a member of staff if they should be challenged and was told they aren’t allowed to challenge. Not fair on either the staff or customers.”
Dan Collins replied: “When half the staff aren’t wearing masks either, they have no right to challenge people for not wearing masks anyway, whether they’ve been asked to or not.”
Kara Brett asked: “Is this why all staff were wearing face masks today? But the last few weeks they haven’t bothered?”
Kerry Sherrad-Smith went further, writing: “Working with the authorities isn’t enough. It should have been closed as soon as these cases were announced.
“Welcome to wave 2.”
Pauline Coulter agreed, writing: “Should be closed until a deep clean has been done.”
Marie Good spared a thought for the staff affected, sending the message: “Hope everyone makes a speedy recovery.”
Andy Holdcroft took a wider view from the perspective of supermarket workers.
He said: “The staff in shops have an invidious position: exposed to potential infections all the time.
“The Tesco staff in Leamington where I shop always have my sympathies: when the mask requirement came in, I didn’t see any shoppers without one for several days, but within a week I noticed a good 50% unmasked on one visit…”
Responding to our earlier report, a spokesman for Tesco said: “A small number of colleagues at our Coventry Arena store have tested positive for Covid-19.
“The safety of our colleagues and customers is our number one priority and we are engaging with Public Health authorities, following their advice and taking all the relevant precautions.”
Tesco is understood to strongly advise all colleagues to wear face coverings, but some may not due to health conditions or if they are behind a protective screen.
CoventryLive has also contacted Coventry City Council and Public Health England for comment.
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