Shoppers in Sunderland city centre have their say on wearing face coverings
Shoppers in Sunderland city centre have reacted to the new rules of wearing face masks and coverings while in shops, supermarkets and indoor shopping centres.
From Friday, July 24 it is the law that face masks and coverings must be worn while in shops, with some people exempt on medical grounds.
Those who do not comply with the new measures could face fines of up to £100, reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.
The Bridges in Sunderland confirmed that face coverings must be worn in the shopping centre itself, not just the individual stores.
On Friday afternoon the Echo counted that out of 100 shoppers, 67 people were wearing masks when entering the Bridges shopping centre.
Retired factory worker, William Bailes, 66, believes that the rule should have been enforced since lockdown began.
He said: “I don’t mind wearing one, I think that it is right. It should have been enforced at the start of all of this.”
William’s wife, Lynn, agreed saying that they are happy with the measures.
The 64-year-old added: “It is our first time out since February because William had an operation, I was nervous at first and I am still a bit unsure now but all the measures seem to be good.”
Ron Tate is a 56-year-old retired bank worker, he also agrees that the enforcement of masks and face coverings is a good idea.
He commented: “I think it is a really good thing, I just wish that it was put in place earlier than it has.
"I’m happy with what I’ve seen so far, some people aren’t wearing them when they should be, hopefully everyone will stick to wearing them.”
Christopher Granton, a 23-year-old retail sales assistant believes that the Government has implemented the rule at the right time.
He said: “I think a lot of people were scared to come back to the shops so I believe that it was introduced at the correct time.
"People have been getting their confidence back in retail over the last few weeks.”
Lauren Abbott is a teaching assistant who works with autistic children, she said people need to remember that some people are exempt.
The 23-year-old commented: “If everyone who can wear one, does so, then it is a really good idea.
"I work with autistic children and they are exempt from having to wear them but I think people need to understand that some people are not required to wear one.
Former electrician Ernie Coates told the Echo that the majority of people he saw were following the rules.
The 73-year-old said: “I think it is a really good idea and around 99% of the people I have saw have complied with the rules and are wearing them.
"It is hard to tell when it should have been enforced but if it helps reduce the spread of the virus then it is a good thing.”
Ernie’s wife Joyce believes that people will just get used to wearing masks when they go out.
The retired receptionist added: “It will just become the normal thing to do and people will get used to it."