‘We’ve worn them since day one’ - Shop owners react to new mask measures

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

Owners of Bookbugs and Dragon Tales bookshop in Timberhill, Dan and Leanne Fridd. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The co-owner of an independent book store in Norwich has said she is surprised face covers were not mandatory for shop workers from the word go.

Following the prime minister’s announcement that shop workers, as well as customers, are required to cover their faces, Leanne Fridd, of Bookbugs and Dragon Tales on Timber Hill, questioned why it wasn’t the case from the off.

She said: “We have worn masks from the very start and have done throughout. I have to admit I was surprised when shop workers weren’t included to begin with.

“However, one thing I would like more clarification over is whether we are allowed to take them off behind Perspex screens, as you can get a bit breathless in them, particularly when it is warm.”

Mrs Fridd, who runs the shop alongside husband Dan, has also called for more clarity over what it would mean for people who take part in classes at the shop.

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She said: “I am working on a new risk assessment as we speak and there are definitely some areas that need to be made clearer.

“I think as the weather gets colder it may become easier for people to wear them though, as you do get very conscious of the heat when you have a mask on. That could be psychological though.

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“However, we think if customers are expected to wear them, we should wear them too.”

Steve Kerrison, who owns Kerrison’s Toys on Aylsham Road, had a similar view to the new measures.

He added: “We’ve worn them since day one. It took a little trial and error to find ones that are comfortable, but the staff have been happy to.

“The reasons we wear them are two-fold - firstly it obviously protects the staff and the customers, but also we wouldn’t feel comfortable asking our customers to wear them if we aren’t also doing so - it’s just common sense. It definitely feels the right thing to do.”

The changes can in a raft of changes announced by prime minister Boris Johnson today, with the PM set to address the nation later this evening, in a televised statement at 8pm.

READ MORE: New tougher coronavirus measures could last six months

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