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Several supermarkets have said they won’t be enforcing the new face mask rules

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Several supermarkets have revealed they will not be questioning customers who don’t wear a mask from July 24th. 

The news comes as shop bosses have warned staff to turn a blind eye to customers who refuse to wear masks, due to fears they will be assaulted. 

From tomorrow, July 24th, shoppers will have to wear face masks or coverings in shops (including takeaways and coffee shops when taking food and drink away). 

The Association of Convenience Stores has said: “We have advised members not to challenge customers unwilling to wear a covering.”

Greater Manchester Police has confirmed they will only enforce wearing a mask ‘where necessary’.

Supermarkets have indicated that they will advise customers to wear coverings but many shoppers were confused as to how they will impose the new rules.

 Most shops have said they will provide posters at store entrances to remind shoppers it is compulsory.

Tesco has gone one step further and will be implementing face mask stands at entrances, so shoppers who have forgotten their mask can pick one up, put it on for their shop and pay at the checkout. Tesco has not put an enforcement policy in place. 

Sainsbury’s tweeted yesterday that it will not be challenging customers who do not wear a mask. 

Co-op said: “It is the responsibility of all non-exempt customers to ensure they are in adherence with the new legal requirements,” but added that their staff will not question those not wearing a face mask. 

Aldi sent an email to reassure customers that while they need to wear face coverings as per the new legislation in Aldi stores, they are available for purchase in every Aldi store and the ‘comprehensive safety measures in place’ at the start of the pandemic are ‘very much in place’. 

Waitrose has broken their silence with a simple tweet that clearly states: “We will not refuse entry to customers with exemptions in line with government guidance.”

Lidl have also confirmed they will not be challenging customers who don’t wear a facemask, saying this should ‘only be enforced by police and council enforcement officers’. 

Iceland has confirmed that they will not be putting their staff ‘at risk’ by asking them to police customers who don’t wear a mask. 

Iceland’s CEO added: “The UK cannot afford a second wave, so we all need to play our part and show care and consideration for each other.”

The Association of Convenience Stores – which has 33,500 members, has urged them to turn a ‘blind eye’ to those not wearing a mask as they were concerned about the repercussions.

Chief executive James Lowman said: “We are helping retailers to communicate the rules around face coverings as widely as possible to customers, but have advised our members not to challenge customers who are unwilling to wear a face covering.

“The safety of retailers and their colleagues is our number one priority and we are keen to avoid any potential flashpoints of abuse in stores.”

Figures show there has been a 40% rise in the number of verbal and physical assaults on shopworkers throughout the lockdown. Co-op is now rolling out body-worn security cameras to help protect workers and cut down shop crime. 

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) also said the safety of staff and customers was a priority. In a statement from the Chief Executive they said: While retailers will play their part in communicating the new rules on face coverings, they must not be the ones enforcing these rules.

“With hundreds of incidents of violence and abuse directed at retail staff every day, we welcome the announcement that enforcement will be left to the authorities, rather than potentially putting hardworking retail colleagues in harm’s way.”

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Police restart search for Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett as skull found

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The search for murder victim Keith Bennet has resumed as ‘potential human remains’ were found on moorland, police have confirmed.

The remains were found during an independent search on Saddleworth Moor by author Russell Edwards, who reported his discovery to Greater Manchester Police.

Detectives are said to be analysing a small sample of the remains and some clothing, the MailOnline reports.

Twelve year old Bennett was one of the five children tortured and killed by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in the 1960s. His body has never been recovered.

GMP said in a statement: “We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family.

“Officers met with Mr. Edwards yesterday evening (September 29th), and he was able to locate a site of interest and provide us with further details of the work he has been carrying out.

“We are at the very early stages of assessing the evidence which he brought to our attention, but have taken the decision to excavate an area of land with a view to determining what lies there.

“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been uncovered, but out of respect for Alan Bennett, who we regularly maintain contact with, we have informed him of this potential development.

“Alan does not wish to be disturbed at this time and we would ask that his request for privacy is respected.”

Bennett was lured into a van by Hindley on June 16th, 1964. He was then taken to Saddleworth Moor, where he was sexually abused and murdered by Brady. 

Despite his heartbroken mother’s pleas, neither Brady nor Hindley ever revealed where they had buried his body. 

Winnie Johnson continued visiting Saddleworth Moor to search for her son until her death in 2012. 

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Cause of Queen Elizabeth’s death revealed

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Queen Elizabeth’s exact cause of death has been revealed as an extract of her death certificate is released to the public.

The Registrar General for Scotland, Paul Lowe, confirmed that Her Majesty The Queen’s death was registered in Aberdeenshire on September 16th, and that the cause of her death was old age.

The document, released by National Records of Scotland, notes the Queen died at 3.10pm on Thursday September 8th. 

The Queen’s only daughter Princess Anne is named as the ‘informant’ on the document, and would have notified the local registrar of her mother’s death.

Anne, who accompanied her mother’s coffin as it travelled from Balmoral to London via Edinburgh, was with the head of state in her last moments.

She said: “I was fortunate to share the last twenty-four hours of my dearest mother’s life.”

Queen Elizabeth was laid to rest on September 19th following a historic seventy-year reign on the throne. 

Her Majesty spent four days lying-in-state at Westminster Hall ahead of the state funeral, where around 250,000 Royal well-wishers came to pay their respects and say a final goodbye.

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Royal Mail to strike for 19 days with Black Friday and Christmas deliveries affected

Strike action will take place across October and November

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Black Friday and Christmas deliveries face delays as Royal Mail workers prepare to strike across the next two months.

The Communication Workers Union announced that action in October and November will be a mixture of ‘single days and rolling action’ across Royal Mail Group’s network.

This includes walkouts from 4am on October 13th for twenty-four hours, and then again on October 20th and 25th, as well as November 28th. 

The union said the strike action will have a ‘dramatic impact’ on deliveries, and will cover peak mail periods such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas build-up.

It could also impact Amazon’s second Prime Day, with sale dates for subscribers on October 11th and 12th.

The CWU says the strike action comes following an ‘outrageous’ decision made by the Royal Mail Group’s senior management to withdraw from major national agreements, push ahead with cuts to workers’ terms and conditions and ‘completely sideline’ the union.

General secretary Dave Ward said: “This is a significant announcement, but it is one which matches the level of anger our members feel at the way Royal Mail Group has treated them.

“The chief executive of Royal Mail Group is treating postal workers as if they are stupid. These are the same people that have kept the country connected and returned Royal Mail Group to record profit.

Postal workers across the UK now face the fight of their lives to save their jobs and the service they provide to every household and business in the UK.”

Ward went on to urge everyone to ‘stand with their local postal worker’, adding: “If Royal Mail Group are allowed to get away with this then it sends a green light to every rogue big business in the UK.

“We will not stand by and see the Royal Mail Group become the next P&O but we need your backing to win.”

However, the Royal Mail says changes are needed as it is currently losing £1million a day. A spokesperson said: “On September 22nd, Royal Mail invited CWU to enter into talks through Acas to find a resolution to our dispute on change and pay.

“This evening, rather than responding to our offer of Acas talks, the CWU announced further damaging industrial action, once again taking the path of prolonging disruption over resolution.

“Royal Mail is losing £1 million a day and must change faster in response to changing customer demands. We operate in a competitive market, and our customers have choices… Further strikes and resistance to transformation by CWU will only make our financial position worse, and threatens the long-term job security of our postmen and women.

“The CWU has a responsibility to recognise the reality of the situation Royal Mail faces as a business and engage urgently on the changes required.

“We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU’s continued strike action will cause. We are doing all we can to minimise any delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”

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