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Police called to Tesco after 30 shoppers turn up without masks in Covid protest

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Around 30 people gathered for the demonstration and told Tesco staff they were all exempty from wearing masks. However, in the store, they later filmed themselves merrily shopping for groceries and encouraging others to join their rally, reports Essex Live. 

They also shared photos to urge others to support them on Saturday. One caption read: “Join us for a spot of maskless shopping. A perfect way to peacefully protest whilst buying your weekly groceries.”

But supermarket staff called police who attended the shop in Chelmsford, Essex, by which time the group were outside.

Shoppers are legally required to wear masks inside all shops unless they are exempt for medical reasons, according to the coronavirus rules.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called to Tesco in Princes Road, Chelmsford, just after 12.30pm on Saturday, March 27, following a report of a large group of around 20-30 people entering the store together and not wearing masks.

“When asked by staff to wear masks, they refused.”

He added: “They left the store several minutes later and, when our officers arrived on scene, the group were in the car park.

“We engaged with them and encouraged them to leave the area. Enforcement is a last resort for our officers, but one man was issued with a fixed penalty notice and a ticket for driving whilst using a mobile phone.

“No further concerns were raised and the group left the area.

“We would encourage anyone who has information about covid breaches to continue to report them to us and we will respond to keep people safe.

“We’d like to thank the majority of Essex residents, who have been working hard to keep themselves and others safe throughout the pandemic.”

Tesco stresses it wants to protect both customers and staff at all times.

A spokesperson said: “Since the start of the pandemic, we have focused on ensuring everyone can get the food they need in a safe environment.

“To protect our customers and colleagues, we won’t let anyone into our stores who is not wearing a face covering, unless they are exempt in line with Government guidance. We are also asking our customers to shop alone, unless they’re a carer or with children.

“To support our colleagues, we will have additional security in stores to help manage this.”



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