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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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Travel traffic light system to be scrapped as big changes for holidaymakers announced

A number of countries including Turkey are also been removed from the red list

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Travel restrictions for the UK will be majorly relaxed from next month onwards, the transport secretary has announced.

According to Sky News, the current traffic light system of red, amber and green countries will be completely scrapped and replaced with one red list only from October 4th.

Also from that date, travellers will no longer need to take pre-departure tests for travelling into England from abroad.

And, from the end of October, fully vaccinated passengers from non-red list countries will be able to replace day-two PCR tests with cheaper lateral flow tests.

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Anyone testing positive, however, will still need to isolate and take a free PCR test to help identify new variants.

From 4am on September 22nd, the following eight destinations will be removed from the red list; Turkey, Egypt, Kenya, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Oman, The Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Today’s changes mean a simpler, more straightforward system. One with less testing and lower costs, allowing more people to travel, see loved ones or conduct business around the world while providing a boost for the travel industry.

“Public health has always been at the heart of our international travel policy and with over 44 million people fully vaccinated in the UK, we are now able to introduce a proportionate updated structure that reflects the new landscape.”

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Scientists at University of Manchester make massive breakthrough on dementia

A massive step forward in the search for a cure for dementia

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Scientists at the University of Manchester have discovered that a common blood pressure drug that could help people suffering from vascular dementia.

Amlodepine is used to treat high blood pressure, but could potentially serve a purpose in tackling a type of vascular dementia caused by damaged and ‘leaky’ small blood vessels in the brain, according to research part-funded by the British Heart Foundation and published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

High blood pressure is known to be the main risk factor in developing vascular dementia.

Researchers came to their conclusion by analysing blood flow in the brains of mice with high blood pressure and vascular damage in the brain.

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Mice treated with amlodipine had better blood flow to more active areas of the brain. Their arteries were able to widen, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach the parts of the brain that needed it most.

The team also discovered for the first time that high blood pressure decreases the activity of a protein called ‘Kir2.1’ that is present in cells lining the blood vessels and increases blood flow to active areas of the brain.

They now hope to trial amlodipine as an effective treatment for vascular dementia in humans, making it the first clinically proven treatment for vascular dementia if successful. 

Dr Adam Greenstein, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Manchester, who led the Manchester team, told ITV News: “The way vascular dementia develops has remained a mystery until now, and there are currently no clinically proven treatments.

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“Patients are presenting with symptoms of vascular dementia earlier than ever before, and with further research we could potentially offer those patients hope to prevent the progression of this life-changing disease.”

Professor Metin Avkiran, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, added: “The way to better understand this devastating disease and find new treatments is through research. This study is a vital step forward towards finding new ways of stopping vascular dementia from progressing.

“These new discoveries highlight the major role that high blood pressure plays in developing the disease and shed light on how this occurs and might be prevented in the future.”

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Government plan return of imperial pounds and ounces in supermarkets

A Brexit document includes plans to review the EU ban on markings and sales in pounds and ounces

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As a result of post-Brexit changes to EU laws, supermarkets could soon see the return of imperial pounds and ounces for their food produce. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously said that he would bring imperial units back to shops as part of his pitch to voters in the 2019 general election, promising ‘an era of generosity and tolerance towards traditional measurements’.

And now, in the wake of Brexit, the UK faces a ban on labelling products with imperial units as part of a post-Brexit plan according to Brexit minister Lord Frost, who also claims pint glasses could be voluntarily stamped with a crown.

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A document titled ‘Brexit opportunities: regulatory reforms’ includes plans to review the EU ban on markings and sales in pounds and ounces, with legislation set to come ‘in due course’ and to permit the voluntary printing of the crown stamp on pint glasses, as per The Independent.

This comes after Lord Frost claimed that ‘gloom-mongers’ had been proved wrong following the UK’s exit from the EU, with him reportedly saying to a peer: “A lot of things haven’t happened that the gloom-mongers said would happen and I don’t think are going to happen.

He added: “This economy and this country is prospering vastly already under the arrangements that we are putting in place. High standards need to reflect the context we are operating in.

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“I am sure there will be change, but don’t believe those changes will result in regression of standards.”

This review comes amid crippling food shortages in supermarkets across the UK, which is believed to be a result of both Brexit and Covid.

Other big retailers such as McDonald’s, Greggs, the Co-op and Ikea have also struggled to supply products to their customers in recent weeks.

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