People across Basildon borough have shown a great level of support for local high street businesses lately, and signs show this is continuing.

Basildon is the number place in the UK for people returning to high streets as the Centres for Cities has recently shown—and that support for retailers is positive.


However, coronavirus is still here, and the new measures for face coverings in shops from 24 July are important.

We fully expect that the vast majority of people will comply by wearing face coverings while inside shops. However, be aware that those who fail to comply can be fined up to £100.

Leader of Basildon Council Councillor Gavin Callaghan said: "Introducing more confidence to shop safely and provide better protection for people working in shops is common sense.

“We have more people out in on our high streets than we have had for four months and taking a simple measure to look out for your fellow shoppers or the person serving you behind the counter is easy.

“Although our economic recovery is important, people feeling safe when it could be the first time they have been out shopping themselves for months because they have been shielding, is just as important to me. We also want to avoid another lockdown and hopefully, introducing mandatory face coverings in shops is one of the many ways that achieves that.

“We are asking residents to take it on board themselves and be reasonable which is what we think ninety-nine per cent of our borough will do.

“For anyone who doesn’t have a legitimate excuse not to wear one, shops can ask you to leave and police can be called.

“And it’s worth remembering that sales assistants, cashiers and security guards have suffered disproportionately in this crisis with much higher death rates than the general population—this can directly help protect them.

“However, do not jump to conclusions and don’t take policing into your own hands as some people may have legitimate reasons not to wear a mask: children under 11 and those with certain disabilities, such people who rely on lip reading for communication, will be exempt from the new rules.”

Government guidance does not mandate use of face coverings by staff in shops but does encourage them as part of wider measures in place.

Mask-wearing continues to be compulsory on public transport in England and at NHS facilities across the UK, and you’ll see it inside Basildon Council buildings where the public interact with staff—it’s all part of helping people shop local and shop safe and continuing necessary health measures.

The latest rules for shops can be enforced by the police, with anyone disregarding them at risk of a fine of up to £100. This will be reduced to £50 if the fine is paid within 14 days.