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So masks are to become optional, do you think this is a good idea?

(462 Posts)
Bossyrossy Sun 04-Jul-21 18:42:54

I know we can’t wear masks forever but is this a good time to make them optional with the Delta variant running wild? DH and I run a small shop, we are in the vulnerable age group but have both had two jabs. At the moment all our customers wear masks and we all feel safer for it. I don’t want to have to ask customers to put on their masks and what if they don’t have one, am I going to have to turn them away? If masks become optional in supermarkets how will older and vulnerable customers feel about shopping there? I really don’t think this has been thought through, like many of the Covid decisions made by this government.

Septimia Sun 04-Jul-21 19:01:47

I'm not sure that it's a good idea to make them optional and, clearly, a lot of people will choose to continue to wear them in confined indoor spaces.

If I was you, I'd put a polite notice on the shop door asking people if they would continue to wear a mask inside. Thank those people who do (I think a lot will) and explain why; just ignore those who don't.

M0nica Sun 04-Jul-21 19:16:43

Yes, we have got to get back to normal sooner or later. Like others I have been vaccinated and I live in a rural area where the chances of picking up the disease, let alone transmitting it are very low indeed.

I understand how so many people have developed a morbid fear of disease, but the death rates from COVID are now far lower than for a host of other illnesses including flu and heart disease and no one seems to worry about them.

varian Sun 04-Jul-21 19:24:35

Perhaps you could have a supply of disposable masks near the door and a notice politely requesting that anyone who doesn't have their own mask should wear one of yours.

JaneJudge Sun 04-Jul-21 19:28:05

I don't think blanket rules work even if you compare yours and Monica's post
you are worried
she thinks she will be ok
Poverty plays a big part in transmission and recovery if looked at statistically and these people have less choice.
I will carry on wearing my mask and considering other people

Redsmudgy Sun 04-Jul-21 19:30:27

I feel unhappy that wearing masks may become optional. At the moment wearing a mask in shops and public places sees to have become a habit for most people and with such high rates of the Delta varient it seems wise to continue. If people stop wearing them I will have to change my shopping habits and go at off peak times in order to feel safe.

MerylStreep Sun 04-Jul-21 19:37:03

Exactly what MOnica said.

M0nica Sun 04-Jul-21 19:45:43

JaneJudge Not wearing a mask does not mean not considering other people. And I take exception to your linking mask wearing with consideration for others.

If a shop wanted me to wear a mask I would do so, I would also wear one when with people who are vulnerable, if they asked me too. Otherwise I have no intention of wearing it in supermarkets, most of which are large and cavernous, and also far less crowded than they used to be because so many people do their supermarket shopping online and have it delivered.

If a mask is required I will wear it, as I have throughout lockdown.

Hetty58 Sun 04-Jul-21 19:49:56

Bossyrossy, my local corner shop has a sign on the door 'No mask, no entry!' and the owner flatly refuses to serve anyone without a mask. There are other shops they can use, after all. I feel very safe going in there.

MissChateline Sun 04-Jul-21 19:54:59

At the moment wearing a mask in a shop is for most of us a legal requirement. A shop owner is quite entitled to refuse to serve someone either not wearing a mask through choice. However after 19th July I’m not convinced that a shop can refuse to serve someone not wearing a mask as it is no longer a legal requirement.
Maybe they can……but they would be losing valuable custom and revenue.

JaneJudge Sun 04-Jul-21 20:09:34

Monica, you can take exception if you like but your post was just explicit in what you felt was right for you in your area, which is what a lot of people feel, myself included - although my area is different and I feel differently. We are mitigating our own risks aren't we and have been throughout (in my own opinion) but I don't think most people do care or consider. If you own or work in a shop or supermarket, that choice is taken away

JaneJudge Sun 04-Jul-21 20:10:54

if you work in a shop or supermarket that choice is taken anyway, they are low paid and have no choice.

Hetty58 Sun 04-Jul-21 20:13:51

MissChateline, as I understand it, a shopkeeper can refuse to serve somebody for any reason - if it's logical and not purely discrimination.

M0nica Sun 04-Jul-21 20:25:27

JaneJudge Nowhere did I suggest that I would be non-mask wearing regardless of what those around me may want.

I certainly make my own judgements, but like so many things in life, like other people, whatever I do I try to do with due consideration for other people around me and your post suggested that I and other's like me don't and you do not have any right to make that judgement unless you can bring evidence to prove that I do lack consideration for others.

I have always found that most people I meet in life are thoughtful and considerate, of course not everybody, but certainly the majority. I think you are unfortunate to have found it different.

MissChateline Sun 04-Jul-21 20:30:29

I would have thought that refusing to serve a customer who wasn’t wearing a mask when it is not a legal requirement might well be discrimination.
I have a problem with a local shop who refuses to take cash. He says that this is to prevent contamination from the notes and coins. The fact that he has abysmal ventilation in the shop and he is happy to serve customers with their masks dangling all over the place is neither here nor there. I am aware that he is not obligated to accept cash but I have pointed out that he is losing certainly my custom and that if others. So a shop that didn’t allow me in without a mask would lose a lot of customers.

aggie Sun 04-Jul-21 20:31:03

I’ve just ordered more washable masks , I’ll keep wearing them , might stop me getting Flu as well as Covid

Hetty58 Sun 04-Jul-21 20:39:13

MissChateline, discrimination is legally 'the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, sex, or disability'.

A shop is private property, not public space, therefore refusing entry (or service) is fine - in the same way that you could refuse entry to your home.

Shops ban shoplifters and vandals - and especially anyone who threatens or presents a risk to their staff, all the time.

Hetty58 Sun 04-Jul-21 20:41:30

aggie, yes, the dramatic fall in flu cases was one little silver lining in this miserable situation!

growstuff Sun 04-Jul-21 20:43:12

I have a box of FFP3 masks, which I shall be wearing if most people give up wearing masks. Up to now, I haven't used them because they're expensive and I've felt comfortable wearing washable ones with filters, which reduce transmission from me to others. However, if most people aren't bothering to stop themselves transmitting infection, I feel I need to protect myself better, which is what FFP3 masks do. Incidentally, FFP3 masks are standard in Germany.

MissChateline Sun 04-Jul-21 20:43:14

Hetty58 ..I’m sure you are right. But I’m not convinced that it would be practical to ban everyone from shops just for not wearing a mask when it isn’t a legal requirement. I’m Presuming that most shops will keep the screens and the staff are able to wear masks should they wish.
Certainly where I shop very few shop staff wear masks. Surely they can’t ban customers who do the same.

growstuff Sun 04-Jul-21 20:54:40

Incidentally, hardly anywhere in the country now has an incidence rate below 100 in a 100,000, which isn't even that low. Many places are over 500, which means that 1 in 200 people is infected. Nowhere has a rate in single figures, which several did just a few weeks ago. To put that into context, Germany is reporting 4 infections per 100,000. Even accounting for different ways of testing and collecting data, that's a huge difference. Thankfully, vaccinations mean that there are very few hospitalisations and deaths.

growstuff Sun 04-Jul-21 20:55:39


Hetty58 ..I’m sure you are right. But I’m not convinced that it would be practical to ban everyone from shops just for not wearing a mask when it isn’t a legal requirement. I’m Presuming that most shops will keep the screens and the staff are able to wear masks should they wish.
Certainly where I shop very few shop staff wear masks. Surely they can’t ban customers who do the same.

Yes, they can. They can refuse to have anybody they want in their shops.

Astu Sun 04-Jul-21 21:00:24

Delta variant is running wild here so with no social distancing and no masks I will not be going anywhere near shops, cafes. etc.
It’s a real shame that masks don’t protect the wearer. Looking into ffp3 as suggested above for when I do have to go to places inside.

Baggs Sun 04-Jul-21 21:12:55


if you work in a shop or supermarket that choice is taken anyway, they are low paid and have no choice.

This is an important point but I have yet to see any statistics about the percentage of shop workers who have even contracted Covid., never mind been hospitalised or who died from it. I think there would have been a media noise about shop worker infections if the numbers had been in any way worthy of attention. No?

Please correct my ignorance if such (well backed up) information exists.

Happiyogi Sun 04-Jul-21 21:21:14

I disagree with Robert Jenrick when he says that people can use their discretion about mask wearing. I wear my mask to protect you…you’re wearing yours to protect me. If you happen to be vulnerable for whatever reason - and we can’t know exactly what level of protection we have as individuals, just the average - then you’re potentially not safe to be among non-mask wearers happily exercising their “discretion”.

And what happens in a few months when we may be in need of a booster jab, or a resistant variant appears?