Shops start using CCTV system that bans entry if shoppers aren’t wearing a face mask

Shops are cracking down on people who refuse to wear face masks by using a new CCTV security system.

The tech is designed to ban awkward customers who refuse to wear a face covering during the Covid pandemic, reports Birmingham Live.

With coronavirus cases on the rise and England now in a three-tier system of lockdown restrictions, some stores are turning to CCTV to deal with non-compliant members of the public.

The camera system works out if a potential customer approaching the entry doors is wearing a mask or not and then displays a message on a screen to allow or deny access.

The new CCTV system can tell if a person is wearing a mask - and won't let them in if they aren't
The new CCTV system can tell if a person is wearing a mask – and won’t let them in if they aren’t

Customers who are not wearing a mask are refused entry automatically through the electronic doors.

“The technology is just fantastic; the CCTV system automatically allows or denies access to the shop and means staff don’t have to be put at risk from difficult customers complaining, or potentially worse”, explains James Ritchey from CCTV.co.uk.

How the Face Mask Detecting CCTV works

  1. A customer walks towards the shop entrance
  2. The CCTV system works out using artificial intelligence if the person is wearing a mask or not
  3. A green or red message is displayed on a screen
  4. If the customer is wearing a mask, access is allowed
  5. If not, entry is refused – the doors won’t open

One garden centre in Yorkshire got the system up and running last week.

Whiteley’s Garden Centre in Mirfield is using a Videcon system to control customers behaviour at the main entrance to the store.

They welcome 450 visitors a day, and said staffing the door was a full-time job. They say they have seen a 50 per cent decrease in customer non-compliance.

The solution has been developed because it is now the shops’ responsibility to protect both their own staff and the health of their customers.

Mr Ritchey added: “Retailers are working so hard to stay open during these most difficult times, and this system means staff aren’t in the firing line from customers unhappy about current restrictions.

“The other side of using an automated system is it gives customers worried about the virus confidence as they enter a tightly controlled secure Covid-19 store.”

What can legally be done about it if you don’t wear one?

Premises where face coverings are required “should take reasonable steps to promote compliance with the law”, the Government said.

Police can take action if members of the public do not comply with the law without a valid exemption and transport operators can deny access if a passenger is not wearing a face covering, or direct them to either put one on or get off the service.

Police and Transport for London officers have enforcement powers including issuing fines of £200 (reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days) for the first offence.

Repeat offenders receiving fines on public transport or in an indoor setting will have their fines doubled at each offence.

Receiving a second fine will amount to £400 and a third fine will be £800, up to a maximum value of £6,400.





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