Following the Mayor of London’s advice for people to wear re-usable face coverings on public transport, The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is working to ensure hardware stores and other retailers can meet demand for them.
The joint effort follows London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s advice – and that of central government – that users of public transport, and places where social distancing is not possible, should wear protective face covering.
Bira works with more than 6,000 independent businesses including cookshops and housewares stockists. Today it is urging members – and the wider retail sector – to stock up on re-usable face coverings to keep the public safe as they transition out of countrywide lockdown.
Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s ceo, said: “Independent retailers want to play their part in keeping customers safe and giving consumers confidence to return to the shops as and when they open.
“As they tend to sell PPE, we want to ensure local hardware stores ramp up supply to keep the public safe, to help people avoid needing to travel to the larger, more populated, out of town DIY stores to buy masks.
“We also want to help protect the NHS supply chain by ensuring the public are sold face coverings that are not those used by the NHS and other health service key workers.”
He added: “The Greater London Authority (GLA) and retailers want shoppers to feel safe and follow the Government guidelines so that we can effectively transition out of lockdown and re-start the economy.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Londoners have shown that they want to do everything they can to slow the spread of this virus, and the wearing of non-medical face coverings will be essential as the lockdown begins to end, particularly for those who have no option but to use public transport.
“I really appreciate all the work being done by retailers across the capital to keep Londoners safe during this crisis, including all the vital measures they have put in place to ensure we can all socially distance.
“I want to work with London’s retailers to now go even further – ensuring they can supply reusable, non-medical face coverings in an affordable and accessible way for all Londoners.”
* Since the outbreak of Covid-19 Bira has launched a dedicated, regularly updated coronavirus hub to help its members and the wider independent retail community through the crisis. Click here for the latest updates.