LEADING book retailer, Waterstones, said it will ‘encourage’ customers to wear face mask in store from 19 July.

They have also asked customers to continue observing social distancing rules while in store.

From Monday (19 July), the legal requirement to wear face mask at indoor settings or on public transport will be abolished.

However, the government “expect” and “recommend” people to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with those you don’t normally meet, such as on public transport.

Businesses also have the freedom to decide if they want to abolish face masks and social distancing rules for themselves.

Posting to social media this week (13 July), Waterstones said: “Following the lift of restrictions on 19 July across England, we will observe new government guidance.



“Given our enclosed browsing environment, we encourage our customers to wear face masks and observe social distancing, respecting the safety of staff and fellow book lovers.”

At the time of writing, the Twitter post has received over 20,000 likes and more that 2000 comments.

Big Green Bookshop wrote: “Do it Waterstones”.

Another person wrote: “Many of us haven’t had our second vaccine doses yet and vulnerable people are being forced into self-imposed shielding.

“Thank you for being considerate of others.”

One commenter added: “I’m glad you are enforcing masks.

“It makes me and a lot of people relaxed to know a company cares about the safety of its customers. Keep strong Waterstones!”

However, not everyone was as supportive of the move.



Talk Radio’s Breakfast Show presenter wrote:” I make a point of buying books at my local @Waterstones rather than ordering on Amazon because I want bookstores to thrive, but if I go into your store and a member of staff asks me to wear a mask, you will lose my business forever.

Another Twitter user said: “Bad decision, you will lose a lot of customers.”

“Amazon must be thrilled tonight,” wrote another.

Will you continue to wear a mask after 19 July?