Wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England is to become mandatory from Friday, July 24.
“We’ve seen locally here, incidents of violence and abuse directed to retail staff when they are policing social distancing,” Mr Roberts said.
“We’ve had reports to us of abuse, threats and retailers reported scuffles between customers about accusing each other of not social distancing.
“If they had to enforce this locally, it wouldn’t work,” he added.
Mr Roberts said that there have been incidents, but said the “vast majority of customers have been respecting the rules”.
“We need to be lead by the science.
“And if the science says this needs to be introduced locally then obviously we have to respect that,” Mr Roberts added.