Concerns amongst Shropshire shoppers that some still not wearing masks

Phone, wallet, keys and your face covering – it has become the new normal for some people, but others are continuing to flout the rules.

Health chiefs have regularly repeated that people should “play their part” and wear a mask to help protect others from coronavirus.

The rules apply to a range of situations, but mainly to public transport and going shopping – where the mask is mandatory.

But concerns have been raised by shoppers over some people not wearing a mask, with residents feeling “unsafe” when shopping.

People shopping in Newport said for the most part attitudes in the area were good when it came to wearing coverings in enclosed places.

Although staff at do-it yourself store Home Essentials, in Lower Bar, admit there have been issues with difficult customers.

One staff member said: “Generally people have been complying. I don’t feel it is our responsibility to tell customers to cover up.

Newport High Street

“We haven’t got the powers. However, we have on a couple of occasions had customers challenge other customers who have come in without a mask on. One lady asked a male customer who wasn’t wearing any to cover up.

“He was really aggressive towards her and followed her up the street. She was really upset by his attitude.”

Newport resident Silvia Catterall, 62, a carer, said: “I think we should all be wearing masks because the infection rate is rising again. I think people have got too relaxed and not taking this virus very seriously.

“I don’t agree with people going on holiday. We want to get it out of our country.

“I’ve seen people going into some of the shops in High Street without any coverings.

Shoppers at Dudley Street, Wolverhampton

“I don’t think it’s the Government’s fault. It’s doing it’s best. We can’t have 100 per cent protection.

“It’s up to the people to co-operate with the guidance.

“I work in the caring profession and it’s difficult to know why some people are infected by Covid-19 and die while others don’t.”

Agricultural engineer Freddy Holland, 29, said: “I absolutely don’t mind wearing a mask. It is frustrating when I see other people not wearing them in the shops. I wouldn’t go as far as to challenge someone though if they weren’t wearing any.”

Freddy Holland from Newport

Proprietor of shoe shop Toggs and Cloggs Anthea Gould said: “People have been very understanding. We’ve had no issues except giving the odd reminder if a customer forgot. They just put it on because they have it on them.

Anthea Fear from Newport

“I think Covid practices in Newport have been very good compared to other places that I’ve heard about.”

Retired cleaner Trish Watson, 67, of Newport, said: “On the whole it’s not going too badly. All we have to do it follow the guidelines and keep each other safe.”

Trish Watson from Newport

Newport mother Heather Marsden, 35, said: “We haven’t had any issues. The main thing for me is trying to remember to carry one when I go out, so I’ve put masks in all my bags and in the pram so I’ve always got some.”

Major supermarkets – including Tesco and Sainsbury’s – have urged everyone to wear face coverings inside a store, with signage and posters explaining it.

A spokesman said: “We are asking everyone to continue playing their part in helping us to keep everyone safe in our stores and to wear face coverings, in line with the government guidance.” Customers in Tesco – who have forgotten to wear a mask – can pick one up at the front of the store, use it and pay for it when they get to the tills.

Chief Superintendent Sue Thomas, from West Mercia Police, said the majority of people had followed the coronavirus rules. She said: “Whilst we have all been able to have a little more freedom in recent weeks it’s important that we don’t become complacent; we all need to play our part in controlling its spread.”

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