Follow the 'house rules' if asked to wear a mask, Lancashire residents urged
Business groups have urged Lancashire residents to respect the "house rules" which many firms are planning to implement for their premises from July 19.
While measures such as the wearing of face masks or table-only service will no longer be legally required from Monday, many consumer-facing businesses intend to use their judgement over whether to continue with these precautions.
Shoppers and pub-goers have been urged to follow the guidance of any business that asks for face masks to be worn.
The Federation of Small Businesses has received assurances that small businesses can continue to insist on interventions such as requiring face-coverings for those not in exempted groups.
FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “With only a few days between guidance going live and the England unlock date, small businesses right across the country are now working hard to update health and safety assessments and ensure they have the right measures in place to open safely.
“No two businesses are the same, so it’s crucial that small firms have the liberty to install the rules that work for them, including where masks are concerned.
"We’re urging shoppers, diners and revellers to respect the unique house rules of every business when they’re out and about from Monday.
“It’s vital that small firms feel supported – by government at every level and by the police – when taking steps to keep their customers and staff safe.
“Monday is a hugely important day for many small businesses which have either been closed or only partially open for the last sixteen months.
“Throughout the pandemic, small firms have proved themselves as pillars of local communities.
"As they prepare for Monday’s unlocking, they are once again demonstrating how much they care about the people and places where they are based, by taking a considered approach to measures in their own premises based upon a concern for the safety and wellbeing of their staff and customers.
“We hope that consumers will understand and respect this as they get behind supporting small firms which are working hard to get back up and running, so that they can remain at the heart of community life, character, jobs and prosperity long into the future.”
A Preston City Centre Business Improvement District spokesman said: "A number of businesses within the city centre, for the continued protection of their customers and staff, will still encourage the wearing of face coverings inside their premises, for the time being.
"We ask that people visiting these individual businesses follow their guidance and support team members in carrying out their duties."
Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said; "While the Government has removed some of the legal restrictions – such as mandatory face coverings in indoor settings – as the guidance makes clear, businesses still have an overall responsibility to minimise risk to their employees and customers.
"This has resulted in many businesses voicing concern as to whether they will be held liable should they make changes to the way they operate from July 19."