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Bira and the London Mayor urge retailers to help make face coverings widely available


The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is working in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) to ensure hardware stores and other retailers can meet demand for face coverings.

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 is urging its members – and the wider retail sector – to stock up on 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 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: “We appreciate the support we’ve received from the British Independent Retailers Association and welcome calls for local hardware and other retailers to maintain positive supply of masks and other PPE to the population.

“It’s crucial we avoid using public transport where possible, but if we have no other option than to use public transport, it’s imperative that appropriate facemasks are worn.”

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.

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