LONDON, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- A number of major British supermarkets have said they will deny entry to shoppers who do not wear face coverings unless they have valid medical reasons, local media reported Tuesday.
Tesco, Asda and Waitrose have become the latest supermarkets making the announcement following a similar move by Morrisons.
The latest move came as British retailers were under criticism that they were not doing enough to stop people breaking coronavirus restriction rule amid surging coronavirus infections.
"To protect our customers and colleagues, we won't let anyone into our stores who is not wearing a face covering, unless they are exempt in line with government guidance," a Tesco spokeswoman said.
"We are also asking our customers to shop alone, unless they're a carer or with children. To support our colleagues, we will have additional security in stores to help manage this."
England is currently under the third national lockdown since the pandemic began in the country. Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty warned Monday that the "most dangerous time" of the coronavirus pandemic in Britain has yet to come before vaccine rollout has an impact.
The next few weeks will be "the worst" of the pandemic for the National Health Service (NHS), he said, urging the public to minimize all unnecessary contact with others.
Another 46,169 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 3,118,518, according to official figures released Monday.
Another 529 have died within 28 days of a positive test, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain to 81,960, the data showed.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.