Shoppers at some of Victoria’s biggest retailers will be turned away if they are not wearing a mask, with Bunnings and Myer among the stores to enforce a “no mask, no entry” policy when the state’s mandatory face-covering rules begin on Thursday.
July 21, 2020
Shoppers without a mask will be refused entry at some major stores this week as new COVID-19 rules come into force.
Retailers including Myer and Bunnings will be enforcing a “no mask, no entry” rule from Thursday in line with new government guidelines to stop the spread of the virus.
The new rules will mostly apply to residents in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, and will come into effect from 11.59pm on Wednesday.
Australian Retailers Association chief Paul Zahra said it was about “safety first”.
“The situation in Victoria remains very concerning and it’s safety first,” he said.
“We need to get ahead of this, we need to stick to the rules and what we’re trying to avoid here is the potential of a stage four (restriction).
“And we’re asking everybody adjust to this as the new normal.”
Mr Zahra said many businesses had already taken it upon themselves and asked staff to cover their faces, and it was only reasonable shoppers were now made to do the same.
He maintained that it was not up to staff to do the enforcing.
“That’s what police and security are for,” he said.
“It has to be navigated and we want our frontline staff — who have been real heroes throughout the pandemic — and shoppers to work together.”
Mr Zahra said the ARA were recommending smaller businesses place a sign at the entrance to their store stating the new rules, while larger retailers would likely use paid security.
Clothing department store Myer confirmed they will be ensuring all staff and customers adhere to the government guidelines and wear a mask at all metropolitan Melbourne stores.
They will provide staff with masks, as well as increase signage to remind consumers about the regulations.
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DIY giant Bunnings will also, from Thursday, require all staff, distribution teams and customers to wear face masks or coverings at stores in metro-Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.
Ryan Baker, General Manager of Operations, said the wellbeing of staff and customers was behind the decision.
“Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have put the welfare and care of our team and customers at the core of what we do,” he said.
“These temporary measures help keep our team, customers and suppliers safe and, importantly, allow us to play our part in helping to control the spread of COVID-19.”
Mr Baker added that they were “well stocked” with mask supplies for customers.
Both retailers said there will be some exceptions to the rule, including for children under the age of 12.