The Welsh Government has called on shoppers and retailers to play their part in keeping people safe by wearing face coverings.

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething is calling on people across Wales to respect the rules and safety advice - including wearing face coverings in indoor public spaces to continue helping cases to reduce.

The Minister has paid tribute to retail staff across Wales who have been unsung heroes throughout the pandemic, working to keep the nation fed.

Mr Gething said: “We must all play our part in Keeping Wales Safe. Even though we are all now able enjoy life’s freedoms, we must all keep taking necessary precautions when shopping to keep ourselves, other shoppers, including society’s clinically vulnerable and store workers safe.”

The economy minister stressed that while vaccine have been incredible for helping stop the spread, face coverings remain crucial in indoor spaces.

He said: “It is important to remember that shopping isn’t a choice unlike a trip to the theatre or pub. I hear from many clinically vulnerable people who tell me that they feel unsafe whilst shopping because of face coverings not being worn.

I am calling on everyone to be considerate to these people and do the right thing. Wearing a covering in shops is a legal requirement for those not exempt, and I’m very keen to press that point here today. Retailers have an important role in getting this message across and ensuring their shops are safe and it is good to see how seriously many retailers, like Morrisons, are taking this. The Welsh Government are keen to avoid introducing further restrictions, particularly in the retail sector in the lead up to the festive period. One way we can all help to avoid that is by following rules and safety measures already in place to help keep us all safe.

“Shop staff are continuously putting their own health at risk by serving the public every day and we mustn’t forget that. Please continue to show retail workers the respect and courtesy they deserve as they continue to work tirelessly to help ensure that shopping in the run up to Christmas is as pleasant, safe and stress-free as it can be at this busy time.

“My message to consumers is simple – shop safe, shop kind this year.”

The message came at the same time that Mark Drakeford thanked the Welsh public for its work to reduce the number of Covid cases in recent days.

The First Minister revealed at the latest Coronavirus Review last Friday, November 12, that current rules will not change although he did not rule out the extension of the NHS Covid Pass.

David Scott, the corporate affairs director at supermarket giant Morrisons, also called on shoppers to continue face coverings as the festive period appraoches.

He said: “We were delighted to welcome Vaughan Gething to our Cardiff Bay store. Our store colleagues are working hard to ensure a safe and enjoyable shopping trip for customers.

"As we enter the festive period we would encourage customers to continue to wear their face covering wherever possible and be considerate to others.”

Sara Jones, Welsh Retail Consortium, said that while retail staff are working hard, customers also "have a duty to play their part" in keeping other safe around Christmas.

Ms Jones also praised the "brilliant work" of retail workers through the pandemic.

She said: “Retailers and shopworkers in Wales have worked incredibly hard and responsibly to keep customers and colleagues safe and supplied throughout the pandemic.

"They’ve done a brilliant job, invested significantly to make their stores as Covid-secure as they can be, and continue to go above and beyond the baseline measures.

"However, each and every shopper also has a duty to play their part, by following store safety protocols and the government’s mandate on face coverings, and by being considerate and respectful to fellow shoppers and shop staff.

"This way we can all enjoy shopping during the festive period and support our favourite shops over the coming weeks, knowing every purchase made and every item bought is a local job supported and a high street helped.”