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Today is the first day in which face coverings will become mandatory for consumers in England when visiting shops and supermarkets.

This legislation comes as a measure to enhance protection for those that work in shops and supermarkets, as well as their customers, as it has been found that retail workers are the most likely to contract the virus, with death rates amongst retail workers higher than in the general population.

The Government only published its official guidance on masks for businesses 24 hours ago, giving further details about the legislation amidst confusion over the rules for takeaway food and drink businesses. Moreover, this guidance is hoping to give staff and customers the confidence to work and shop safely.

Face coverings being worn in public spaces has certainly become part of the new normal following the ease of lockdown. However, as we move further into a post-lockdown climate, the temporality of face masks and coverings as a long-term solution to halting the spread of coronavirus, has come into light.

A more efficient method of overcoming these fears and concerns is the integration of mobile technology into the retail sector. The consumer shopping experience in the post-lockdown climate must be as streamlined and dynamic as possible in order to ensure safety, and the use of technology can be one possible avenue to achieve this.

Will Broome, CEO of Ubamarket and a leading authority in the retail sector, said, “The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the retail landscape as we knew it, and we now know the full extent of the danger posed by coronavirus, especially for the nation’s retail workers.

'The introduction of mask-wearing in stores will help to protect retail workers and customers, and it is encouraging to see that the government is focusing on developing additional safety and hygiene measures beyond the social distancing policies and sanitisation protocols.

'However, with this protocol coming into full force on Friday, it remains to be seen whether this measure will be effective in the long term, and only represents a small step in developing long-term measures that can make the overall retail experience safer and more streamlined.'

Broome has been instrumental in the development of a retail shopping app. This introduces features such as scan-as-you-shop, aisle sat-nav, in-app payment and till-less checkout to help retailers offer a more streamlined and safe environment for both customers and staff.

He concluded, 'The implementation of retail technology will allow retailers to go further by solving a number of the problems posed by coronavirus. Providing tech solutions, such as a consumer app, can put shoppers in control and will unlock a range of features such as remote stock-checking, till-less checkout and aisle sat-nav, all of which will greatly enhance the shopping experience and develop a safer, more convenient environment.”

(source: Ubamarket, image: pexels)