Supermarkets were facing a mask backlash from shoppers on Monday amid complaints that staff, rather than customers, were failing to follow face-covering advice.
Many retailers have said they will continue to ask customers to wear face masks when they shop after legal requirements were lifted.
Guidance from the Government says the public are "expected" to wear face coverings in enclosed indoor spaces to stem soaring Covid infection rates across Britain.
However, as shops opened their doors on what has been called "Freedom Day", it soon became clear that the announcements had created confusion around the use of face coverings.
Customers from dozens of Sainsbury's branches across the country flooded social media with complaints about the number of staff choosing not to wear masks.