SHOPS and supermarkets across Worcestershire say they will enforce mask waving, provoking a considerable reaction online.

Supermarkets including Tesco, Aldi, Asda and Waitrose are all now refusing to allow shoppers in if they are not wearing a mask and cannot show they are exempt.

Many Worcester News readers on Facebook said the time was right to make the call.

Gabriella Kovacs wrote: “They should have done it in the first lockdown” following the announcement, which said supermarkets including Tesco, Aldi, Asda and Waitrose are all now refusing to allow shoppers in if they are not wearing a mask and do not have an exemption card.

Andrea Taylor wrote: “I have got an exemption card but always wear my mask for as long as possible in the supermarket and only go in for what I need. Too many people treat it as a day out with the family e.g. both parents and three or four children. I’m not sure what planet some people are on.”

Announcing the new regulations for shoppers, 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.

A Tesco spokesman said that as well as tightening restrictions around shoppers wearing face coverings, customers are also being urged to shop alone.

Andrew Murphy, executive director of operations at Waitrose parent company, the John Lewis Partnership, said: “By insisting on the wearing of face coverings, over and above the social distancing measures we already have in place, we aim to make our shops even safer for customers.”

Aldi chief executive Giles Hurley also said: “The safety of our colleagues and customers is our number one priority.

“Wearing a mask is mandatory for everyone that shops at Aldi, except for the small number of people who have a medical exemption.”

Another Worcester News reader, Polly Gilbert, wrote: “If you can’t wear a mask for a 20 minute shop round Sainsburys then you shouldn’t be out of the house at all.

“And if you need more than 20 minutes in a shop you need to get a life. It’s not a day out, just having a little wander and a browse. Wear your mask, get your shopping and go home.”

Policing minister Kit Malthouse said he believes all supermarkets should take similar measures and said they should ensure they had all Covid measures in place., saying: “I think that, understandably, following the November lockdown there was an element of release and therefore the person at the door, the sanitation station, the traffic light system, the queues outside obviously receded a bit.

“What we hope now, and I know all of them will, that they’ll see their responsibility and start to put those things back in place.”