Row after London council is warned off enforcing mask rules in shops

Exclusive: council says BEIS official intervened on shops’ side after it raised issue of non-compliance

Ministers have been accused of putting the high street above public health after the business department warned council leaders against enforcing mask-wearing in supermarkets.

Four retailers – Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Morrisons and B&M homeware stores – were issued with warning notices by Barking and Dagenham council in east London after their staff were seen failing to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing by customers.

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