DO you support supermarkets enforcing the wearing of face masks?

We asked readers for their views and around 3,000 people have responded on the Daily Echo Facebook page.

Tesco, Asda and Waitrose are the latest supermarkets to take a tougher stance on customers who refuse to wear a face covering without a medical exemption, and they all urged shoppers to be respectful towards staff.

It comes after Morrisons said customers who refuse to wear a mask without a medical exemption will be told to leave stores.

On Tuesday, Tesco said it will not let customers who are not wearing a face covering into its stores unless they are exempt in line with Government guidance, as it asked shoppers to be “kind, patient and respectful” towards staff.

A spokesman said: “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.”

An Asda spokesman said: “If a customer has forgotten their face covering, we will continue to offer them one free of charge.

“But should a customer refuse to wear a covering without a valid medical reason and be in any way challenging to our colleagues about doing so, our security colleagues will refuse their entry.”

Waitrose is also following suit with marshals at entrances to offer disposable masks and deny entry to anyone refusing to comply.

Aldi said customers would no longer be permitted to enter stories without a face mask, unless they have a medical exemption, and they would be reminded to shop alone if possible.

Lidl said they would “remind those not wearing a face covering of the Government guidelines and their own responsibility to keep themselves and others safe”.

Here are some of the views of those who responded on the Bournemouth Echo's Facebook page. 

1. Yes ..all the excuses people offer , most are rubbish I can do hard labour work all day and still breath with ease through one.

2. Yes, but I don't think the general workers should have to take the abuse they will probably get, they should have security to make sure people are wearing them.

3. Yes definitely! I work in a supermarket and just because I wear a uniform does not mean I'm immune to this virus. Customers also need to adhere to the rule 1 person per trolley as much as possible, it's not a meeting place for family or friends or a day out with the kids, especially at the scan and go/self service tills, and when we ask you to step back please go more than a foot away from your shopping, it's not going anywhere, but I will have to be off work if you infect me.

4.  Maybe if they are medically exempt they shouldn’t be out.

5. I have asthma ( at present out of control) I have never had a medical exemption certificate to say I don’t have to wear a mask and even if I did I’d still wear one to protect myself . Over last year I worked in care homes and in a pharmacy I had to wear a mask for up to 8 hours a day and yes I struggled but I made myself get used to it as i wanted to protect not only myself but others too.

6. I’m severe asthmatic but I would rather wear a mask it’s not as if it’s for hours only when shopping.

7. The supermarket CEOs need to forego some of their mega salary and pay fur security guards, the staff have quite enough to deal with, their role doesn’t include enforcing the law.

8. Shouldn’t be optional - if you’ve a problem with wearing a mask don’t go to the shops, order online or get someone else in your bubble to fetch your groceries.

9. Yes. My partner works in a supermarket and people lean over him to pick stuff up off the shelf. Mask or not, they don't distance or say excuse me. Why is he at risk so you can all pick up your food without consideration for him or others.

10. There is no exemption for carers or hospital staff, they have the same medical conditions and still wear masks for 12 hours a day. If you are really unfit to wear a mask, surely you should be shielding.

11. I have a friend who has many illnesses and is exempt, she still masks up and wears gloves when she has to go shopping. 100% wear a mask and stay safe.

12. No mask no entry. Why should anyone working inside have to put up with people not wearing masks it’s not fair on them. Why can’t Brits just do as their told instead of coming up with all the excuses under the sun. No wonder our country is in such a state.

13.  The problem is some of these medical exemption people have genuine health problems? Others are just flouting the rules that they don't think apply to them. If they have issues they should wear a visor or get someone to do there shopping, stop putting others a risk.

14. I thought masks were compulsory anyway! Also if you are exempt maybe stay indoors safe and protect yourself as you probably have an underlying condition.
Just stay safe everyone. Look after each other and be kind.

15. This country has always been a soft touch. That's why we're in the mess we are now. Get tough with people, it's the only way.

16. 100% yes. Only thing worse than non mask wearer is the ones who come in wearing it under their chin.

17.  In the first lockdown, supermarkets were happy for frontline workers such as nurses to shop at certain hours, away from general public. Seems an easy measure to reinstate this measure but to also add a timeslot for those that are exempt. They should be willing to show their exemption card from the Dr on entry. Those that are not genuine consider this. Yes, you may feel its your right not to wear a mask, but I consider I have the right not to be put in danger and infected by you and your selfish actions.

18. I'm exempt from wearing a mask but no way on this Earth would I walk into a Supermarket or anywhere else without one. If you're going to attempt a supermarket it's in, out and home. I would rather struggle to breathe for 10 minutes with a mask on then a long stay in hospital with a ventilator down my throat.

19.  I think no one allowed in a supermarket with out a mask even if you are exempt. If you cant wear one do an online shop stay out of the shop.