MORRISONS is to bar customers who refuse to wear face coverings from its shops amid rising coronavirus infections.

Shoppers who refuse to wear face masks offered by staff will not be allowed inside, unless they are medically exempt.

The announcement comes amid concerns that social distancing measures are not being adhered to in supermarkets.

Morrisons, which has a store in Malton, said it had "introduced and consistently maintained thorough and robust safety measures in all our stores" since the start of the pandemic.

But it said: "From today we are further strengthening our policy on masks."

Security guards at the UK's fourth-biggest supermarket chain will be enforcing the new rules.

Morrisons' chief executive, David Potts, said: "Those who are offered a face covering and decline to wear one won't be allowed to shop at Morrisons unless they are medically exempt.

"Our store colleagues are working hard to feed you and your family, please be kind."

Exemptions are made for: Those unable to put on or wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or disability People for whom wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress Anyone assisting someone who relies on lip reading to communicate Those who don't have a mask will be offered one by security staff, but turned away if they don't accept it.