Majority of Norfolk shoppers and commuters still choose to wear face masks

face masks

The majority of people shopping and community in Norfolk still choose to wear face coverings. - Credit: PA

The vast majority of shoppers, commuters and businesses in Norfolk are still choosing to wear face coverings despite the relaxation of rules.

Business owners have been asked about what their approach has been in regard to people entering their venues following Freedom Day, with them reporting that most customers walk through their doors with a mask on.

Patrick Duffy, owner of Palace Bingo, Casino and Cinema in Great Yarmouth, implemented a strict approach to Covid safety to "protect everybody" and said measures had not changed at all since.

Two ladies with Patrick Duffy, boss of Palace Bingo in Great Yarmouth, ready to enjoy a few games on

Patrick Duffy pictured with two customers, wearing masks. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Duffy said: "You have to wear your mask when entering, leaving and moving about the premises and that has been 100pc adhered to."

Elsewhere in the town, St George's Theatre assistant general manager, Kate Rivett, said most people are "masked up" when they enter the theatre, but since July the amount of people wearing masks has gone down.

And Tom Smith, manager of Lek Thai, said many people were "still sticking to the old rules."

face mask wearing

The majority of Norfolk shoppers still opt to wear a mask. - Credit: Archant 2020

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An EDP Facebook post asking people if they still wear a face covering in shops and on public transport also revealed the majority of people do, with more than 150 responses.

Marianne Westgate said: "Definitely in shops and crowded areas unless there are reasons not to. It's the responsible thing to do."

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Whereas Hayley Atthowe said: "Nope. Haven't even thought about it. I don't notice or judge anyone who does or doesn't. It's choice and my choice is freedom."

A customer wearing a face mask at Thetford Garden Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A customer wearing a face mask at Thetford Garden Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

And some said they only wear it when visiting the doctors or hospital.

Shoppers in Norwich seemed more divided on the matter, with strong opinions expressed in both directions.

Lawrence Wolfe said: "It is a very, very tiny price to pay to protect those around us."

But Shirley McGowen said: "I steer clear of those wearing masks as it makes me feel like they are poorly."

Shoppers around Norwich Market shopping local and staying safe in masks.Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Shoppers pictured at Norwich Market wearing masks. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A visit to Morrisons in Norwich at 12pm on Friday showed just over half of supermarket shoppers opted to wear a mask, with 46 wearing a face covering, and 44 not.

Dave Lancaster said: "No-one looks at the numbers anymore, in lockdown everyone knew how many people had it, but I think people have just forgotten about it."

What about masks on public transport?

On the whole transport services are encouraging people to continue wearing masks and to follow government guidance about it on public transport.

But despite this, café staff at Platform One at the Downham Market train station, said there still seems to be confusion among commuters about wearing them, but on the whole a lot of people wear them.

Kevin Sewell, who works at Platform One at the Downham Market train station.

Kevin Sewell, who works at Platform One at the Downham Market train station. - Credit: Sarah Hussain

Edwina Elliott and Kevin Sewell said: "We're not wearing them in the café and we're not asking people to wear one either.

"People come in here and ask what the rule is for the train, saying they're not always sure what the restrictions are to travel.

"There's a lot of uncertainty among the public. We tell them that we think the train company wants it."

Poster displayed in the window at the Downham Market train station.

Poster displayed in the window at the Downham Market train station. - Credit: Sarah Hussain

Posters displayed around the train station ask people to be 'considerate' of other passengers and train staff.

Three out of seven people were seen wearing a mask on the station's platform at around 10.30am on Friday.

Karen Gregson, Great Northern's area manager covering Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, said: "I still see the majority of our customers wearing face coverings, and up to about eight out of ten or more on busier trains.

"We ask people to follow the government guidelines and wear face coverings in busy indoor settings, out of respect for others.

"Passengers can be assured that we continue to keep trains clean and safe with regular use of long-lasting viruscides."

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Our region's train services are encouraging people to wear a face covering when using public transport. - Credit: Archant

A Greater Anglia spokesperson said: “The government expects and recommends people to wear face coverings on busy trains and stations, unless they are exempt. We are asking our passengers to follow this guidance.

The same message was shared by our region's bus services.

First Bus driver wearing a face covering.

First Bus driver wearing a face covering. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Jeremy Cooper, managing director at Konectbus, said it continues to "encourage" people to wear face coverings on their buses, adding that many still do at busy times.

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties, said: ”Face coverings are still being used by the majority of people using our services across our bus network which is reassuring to see, however some people are now choosing not to which they are quite within their rights to do so."

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