You have to wear them on public transport but not in shops – at the moment anyway.
The use of face masks is still splitting opinion, with some people saying they should be mandatory in all public spaces and others saying people should be free to choose whether they want to wear them or not.
Official UK government guidance states that people must wear a face covering at all times on public transport or when they are in hospital, either as a visitor or outpatient.
They also advise that people should wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
Face coverings aren’t thought to protect you – but if you are infected and don’t have symptoms they may provide protection for people you come into contact with.
So, what do people in Coventry think? We asked our readers whether face masks should be mandatory in shops and supermarkets. And the question struck a chord, with more than 460 people commenting. Here’s what they had to say…
Here’s what you had to say
Many people answered with a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but others felt the question was more nuanced.
Some people for example pointed out that are medical exemptions which allow some to not wear a mask on public transport and in hospitals.
Others pointed out that while it’s important to wear masks, you have to wash your hands first for them to be truly effective.
John Brain said: “Having seen the way people wear them and touch them without washing or sanitizing their hands first, it’s pointless for the general public to wear them anywhere.”
And Dave Hardy added: “No! Watched a guy in the chip show with one on tonight. Every time he spoke he pulled it down then back up, making it a total waste of time.”
Many people told of how wearing masks is already mandatory in other countries, such as Spain and Canada.
Some felt the idea is a no-brainer, and the idea of enforcement is long overdue.
Marion Beldon said: “It should have been mandatory from the beginning. The government keep advising, that’s no good. It should be required by law and the supermarkets should not let anyone in without a mask.”
Beverley Williams added: “Went to a shop [at] the weekend, people not respecting distance. Leaning across you, etc, I wasn’t impressed. Hardly anyone with masks. Whatever we can do to help should be done.”
Others felt that it comes down to personal choice and had their own concerns about masks.
Moises Muguerza Espino said: “Probably not mandatory. But they should give them at the entrance, probably many people would wear them. It wouldn’t be too expensive for them to give that to their clients, just discount them 10 points.”
Pat Healy said: “Choice should be given. We [are] going to have lots of future problems with people wearing unsuitable face masks.”
And Julie Franklin-Iones added: “With a face mask you are breathing back in your own germs. Doing as much damage as coronavirus doing. So I personally only wear on public transport/work if needed.”
Some people’s concerns centred on how the masks look.
Callum Sgp Shaw said: “I don’t think all these fun looking masks should be made […]. They should be like fags in the sense they all look the same and look standard to remind people these are dark times not fun times.”
Ultimately, while there was a large amount of people disagreeing with the idea of mandatory face coverings in shops and supermarkets, most people appeared to agree with the idea.
Sue Henshaw said: “If everyone had worn masks from the beginning the spread of the virus would have been less. Scientists say that they help to prevent the virus being passed on by people who don’t know they have it at the time.”