Meadowhall boss says shoppers who refuse to wear face masks could face police action

Shoppers at Meadowhall who refuse to wear a face covering could face police action, the centre’s boss has warned.

Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 2:48 pm

Face coverings have been mandatory in indoor public spaces such as shopping centres since 24 July and the police have powers to enforce this law with £100 fines.

Darren Pearce, centre director at Meadowhall, issued the warning to would-be non-compliers during an interview with The Star on Wednesday. It comes after several shoppers criticised the centre for failing to enforce the safety measures it has in place, which also includes a one-way system and capacity controls.

There have also been several reports of shoppers not wearing face coverings. One woman posted on social media: “I went last week and the amount of young people not wearing masks or just hanging them round their ears like a fashion accessory is astounding.”

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Mr Pearce said: “We will be positively advising customers. Our security team will be approaching people and asking them if they’ve got exemptions. Of course, people can legitimately not wear a face covering or mask if they’ve got an exemption, so we’ve got to be very mindful of that, but we will encourage compliance.

"We also have an on-site police team here as well. They can push that a stage further, let’s say. They will do that, of course, if that’s necessary because we want compliance, we want people to feel safe in the environment and that’s [face coverings] a big part of that now.”

A pedestrian wearing a mask as a precaution against the transmission of the novel coronavirus (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)