Tesco has banned its staff from asking customers to remove face coverings when verifying age restricted purchases.

Staff reported alleged issues stemming from internal test purchasing operations carried out by the supermarket checking if cashiers were following the chain’s ‘think 25’ policy.

An internal update sent to Tesco employees later said: “If a customer wearing. A face covering is buying an age restricted product, we shouldn’t ask them to remove their coverings for Think 25 identification purposes.”

The statement advised: “If you’re unable to verify their identify for Think 25, then you should apologise and politely explain to the customer that you’re unable to verify their identity and the sale will have to be refused. The customer may then choose to remove their covering voluntarily. In this case, you can proceed with the age verification and, if verified, process the sale as normal.”

The guidance contradicts ACS advice created in collaboration with trading standards departments which advises independent stores to ‘request the mask or face covering is briefly removed.’

Posters to help stores implement the age verification guidance can be downloaded from the ACS website.

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