METROCENTRE bosses have said shoppers will be reminded to wear a face covering as new Covid restrictions came into force this week. 

Bosses clarified the rules when visiting the Gateshead shopping centre after the mandatory use of face coverings in shops were brought back on Tuesday.

Guidance on their website stating customers will be asked to leave has since been amended with bosses saying customers will be reminded, instead.

Read more: Every single rule coming into force today in bid to beat Covid Omicron variant

In a statement, Metrocentre bosses said that they would be following Government guidelines and asking its shoppers to do so.

Setting out its new rules, it said: "Following the Government’s latest announcement, we are making visitors aware that you must wear a face covering while in centre, unless exempt.

The Northern Echo: The Metrocentre during Covid restrictions last Christmas Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTThe Metrocentre during Covid restrictions last Christmas Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

"Our teams will be on hand to remind visitors on the latest Government guidance.

"Naturally, anyone with a medical condition that prevents them from covering their face will be exempt, as will children under the age of 11.

"Please help us to keep everyone safe. Thank you for being considerate of other customers and our colleagues."

Visors will not be accepted instead of masks

Setting out the requirements of those visiting during Covid restrictions, bosses said they would not be accepting visors in place of face coverings.

It said: "Visors provide limited protection to a face covering as they do not adequately cover the nose & mouth, and do not filter airborne particles. You can wear a visor with a face covering, but not as an alternative to face coverings."

The rules also apply to staff 

It also said that its workers, including retail employees, would be asked to wear a face covering whilst working.

It said that it had asked its retailers to ensure they follow the rules, saying Metrocentre has a "good relationship" with all of its brands and did not expect any issues to arise.

Police will intervene in some cases

Meanwhile, it said that it would take action against those who "deliberately" placed people's health at risk and said it would contact the police.

It said: "We’re doing everything we can to keep people safe. However, we have little to no powers to enforce the wearing of face coverings.

"If we feel that people are deliberately risking the safety of those around them or are being abusive to our teams or other visitors, then we will call the police."

'We continue to do everything we can'

Gavin Prior, Centre Director at the Metrocentre, said: “Throughout the pandemic, we have been and will continue to do everything we can to make sure Metrocentre is a safe place to visit and work.

"That includes following the guidance from Public Health England and the Government. 

"As per the recent government announcement on Saturday, it is now mandatory to wear a face covering on the malls and in retail stores from Tuesday.”



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