Derbyshire police say issuing fines will be a last resort as the new Government rule on face coverings comes into force tomorrow.
Customers must wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets across the country from Friday, July 24, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Officers will have the authority to hand out fines of up to £100 to anyone who refuses to do so. In line with the rules on buses, trains and hospitals some people will be exempt and will not have to wear a mask or other face covering.
But those at the county’s police force have confirmed that issuing fines will be a last resort.
Local officers will first speak to anyone not wearing a face covering and explain why they need to amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
A spokeswoman for Derbyshire police said: “We will engage with anyone not following the new regulations on face coverings and explain why they are required to wear one.
“If someone refuses to wear a covering, and they are not exempt under the regulations, then we do have the power to issue fines but enforcement will be a last resort, as it has always been.”
The force has confirmed there will not be an increased police presence in town centres and other shopping areas as a result of the rule change.
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Officers have also urged shopkeepers to speak to customers not abiding by the rules themselves before informing the police.
The spokeswoman added: “We will be writing to retailers to remind them of their responsibility to engage with customers who are not wearing a face covering before contacting the police.
“We have no plans to increase police presence in the county’s shopping areas purely to enforce the wearing of face coverings.
“Our communities know that we all have a responsibility to stop the spread of Covid-19 and we are sure that the new regulations will be widely supported.”