Commenting on the news that masks are now required in shops in Wales, Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair said:L
“The wearing of masks can provide a certain level of protection from Coronavirus, and therefore we hope that this new measure will provide reassurance and confidence to shoppers and business owners in Wales.
“It is vital that we all do our bit on mask wearing in shops and public spaces moving forward. This announcement demonstrates just how quickly the situation is changing in Wales, which in turn creates an urgent need for Welsh Government to regularly and effectively communicate with businesses.
“This need for effective communication will only become more pressing as we deal with local lockdowns where different regulations apply in different areas. Local authorities must be part of the solution for providing businesses with the clarity that they need on what they can and cannot do. FSB Wales has been very clear on our willingness to work with Welsh and local government on this but a more open line of communication is required urgently.
“Of course, we know that facemasks cannot be worn by everyone, and wearing them can pose significant challenges for certain groups, such as those who are deaf and reliant on lip reading. We also must be careful that this does not become a trigger for abuse against shop owners and their employees, even though the majority of customers have so far proved accepting of social distancing measures. Understanding and empathy should be important watchwords for all if this does happen.
“While some shoppers may still be nervous, small firms will be hoping that these new measures will inject new confidence into customers and get them back into town centres and high streets across Wales."