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‘No push back’ Norwich shoppers embrace face coverings

PUBLISHED: 15:51 24 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:51 24 July 2020

Shoppers out in force wearing masks in Norwich city centre on the first day it became mandatory for shoppers to wear face coverings in shops. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Shoppers out in force wearing masks in Norwich city centre on the first day it became mandatory for shoppers to wear face coverings in shops. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2020

Norwich shoppers are showing “no push back” to wearing masks as the city embraces new changes that came into force today.

Owners of Bookbugs and Dragon Tales bookshop in Timberhill, Dan and Leanne Fridd. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYOwners of Bookbugs and Dragon Tales bookshop in Timberhill, Dan and Leanne Fridd. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Shopper Sophie Simmons, from Rollesby, near Great Yarmouth, came into the city before work.

The mum-of-three visited Primark, the Apple Store and stopped for a coffee in Chapelfield. She said very few shoppers were not following the guidelines.

“Taking them on and off is not a good idea, I put mine on once I got out of the car and left it on,” she said. “It’s important for everyone’s health not just the vulnerable.”

Father and daughter Jim and Sophia Blythe, from Norwich, were both donning face coverings as they made a couple of errands in the city centre, including picking up the latest in the Treehouse Fun Book series.

Beckie Kingsley, centre, with colleagues Sarah Rogers, left, and Carmen Barr, selling masks at Ginger in Timberhill. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYBeckie Kingsley, centre, with colleagues Sarah Rogers, left, and Carmen Barr, selling masks at Ginger in Timberhill. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Blythe said: “It is a little bit strange. We have been getting used to checking for arrows.

“It is a little bit different, but it is a minor inconvenience to get things going.”
At Bookbugs and Dragontales, in Timberhill, owners Dan and Leanne Fridd reported 100pc of customers has covered up.

On entering the shop, customers are directed to the special costume area, where they can pick up a mask if they have forgotten one and put on gloves to touch the books to avoid removing stock from shelves.

Mrs Fridd said: “There has been no push back at all. In the lead up last week at least 90pc of customers were wearing face coverings.

Shopper Sophie Simmons wearing a face mask at Bookbugs and Dragon Tales bookshop in Timberhill, on the first day wearing a mask in shops became mandatory. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYShopper Sophie Simmons wearing a face mask at Bookbugs and Dragon Tales bookshop in Timberhill, on the first day wearing a mask in shops became mandatory. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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“Most of the large book chains are quarantine their books for 72 hours, we do not have the space or the ability to do that.”

The bookshop has also covered its carpet with cartoon figures, with each section marking a two metre distance.

Mrs Fridd added: “Our aim has never been ‘don’t touch’, we do not want to make that a thing.

Shoppers out in force wearing masks in Norwich city centre on the first day it became mandatory for shoppers to wear face coverings in shops. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYShoppers out in force wearing masks in Norwich city centre on the first day it became mandatory for shoppers to wear face coverings in shops. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“All of the children want to put the gloves on, they call them their Elsa gloves and make it all part of it.”

The business, which aims to reuse and recycle, says the use of plastic gloves is a challenge but necessary in the current time.

At neighbouring store Ginger, staff said the guidelines could actually help attract more people by making them feel safer.

Beckie Kingsley, from the store, said: “I’m all for it. It’s an extra fashion accessory. I think most people are on board with wearing them and quite happy to.

Shoppers out in force wearing masks in Norwich city centre on the first day it became mandatory for shoppers to wear face coverings in shops. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYShoppers out in force wearing masks in Norwich city centre on the first day it became mandatory for shoppers to wear face coverings in shops. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It will make everyone feel safer about coming out. We have had people come in saying this is my first time and this will make them more sure.

“We are all in the same boat and you do not have to worry.

“Health has to come first but you can have a little bit of fun spirit with it.”


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