The rules on wearing a mask in stores have changed again and it is no longer mandatory to wear one.
Looking around downtown Truro, there was still plenty of mask-wearing.
Many traders also said they would keep screens open to protect their customers and customers and in some cases politely ask shoppers to continue wearing face coverings even if they know there is no no way to enforce it.
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The Guild of Ten, a collective of artists and creatives on Old Bridge Street, is one such store where Covid rules will remain in place.
Rebecca Walklett, one of the artists in the collective who ran the shop on the day the rules were scrapped, said: ‘We’re going to ask people to keep wearing a mask but we won’t insist because we know it’s not. is no longer a legal obligation.
“But I think it’s a sensible approach and a majority of people will stick with it.”
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On the road to Cathedral Lane, Jake Archer, the director of Bazbo Comics, said the Perspex screen at the checkout probably will be, but the hand sanitizer will remain by the door.
“We will keep our ‘Be a hero, wear a mask’ and the official inscription, but we are not going to enforce it. It was not worth fighting for when masks were mandatory. Now even less. We are too small a company. It’s up to people to do what they feel comfortable with and that’s it.
People in England are no longer legally required to wear face masks, although they are still recommended in some settings.
The change is part of the government’s decision to lift Plan B coronavirus measures in England.
Masks are still needed in many situations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The decision comes as the number of Covid cases climbs again in Cornwall. According to statistics from Public Health England, there were 4,296 cases in the Duchy in the seven days to January 21, 526 more (a 14% increase) than in the previous seven days.
Large areas of Cornwall, including Truro, remain dark purple on the government’s interactive Covid heat map, along with other hotspots such as Penryn, Penzance, Hayle, Newquay, Bodmin, Liskeard and Launceston.
Vicky Philp, the supervisor of Pennyworth Confectionery opposite the entrance to Truro Cathedral wore her own mask behind a plastic screen. At the entrance to her store, a sign called for no more than six customers to enter at a time, measures which she says will remain in effect.
“We will definitely keep the screen on,” she said. “We have kept all our measures in place since the start of the pandemic. We will discreetly ask our customers to continue to wear a mask and our staff too.
“Just after the summer and before Christmas the government dropped mask-wearing and suddenly there was a massive increase in the number of cases. Wouldn’t it be better if we all worked together and did what we could to keep the virus at bay? »
Across High Cross, Alan Westaway and James Mills own and run the Red Elephant Beer Cellar and specialize in craft beer. Both said the screen through the bar would remain, but other than that it’s up to people.
“We won’t be asking people to wear a mask in our store,” Alan said. “It was still weird. To get in and wander around the store, they had to wear one, but if they sat down to eat a bit or drink a beer, they didn’t have to anymore. It wasn’t always easy to apply, so now we’ll leave it up to people’s personal choice.
He added: “We will continue to sanitize touchpoints after customers have left. I think stores have become accustomed to doing this and it is good practice.
Around the corner from Pydar Street, Olly Hicks and Wiggy Sutherland, who run surf fashion boutique Married to the Sea, said they had already ditched the screen and wouldn’t be wearing masks either.
“It’s up to people what they want to do,” Wiggy said. “Before, we had about 25% of our customers who were difficult even when it was mandatory. We tried to apply it on some occasions, but we got the aggro. Some customers were very defensive and difficult. We tried to do the right thing, but the heartache and hassle we had. It’s not worth the shot.”
Christina Sharkey runs Grope Tree Health Foods on Pydar Street. It is part of a new generation of stores that have opened on the town’s main street in the last 12 months.
Due to the customers shopping there, she said the screen would remain in place at the checkout and that she and her three employees would continue to wear a mask.
Like other traders, she said it was sometimes difficult to enforce the mask rule.
She added: “We were happy to follow the mask wearing regulations and will continue to do so. For many customers, it is reassuring to wear a mask. It makes them feel better than we do to protect them too. If it makes business sense to wear a mask, great.
While face coverings have been largely phased out, the government is still advising people to wear masks in enclosed or crowded spaces and when meeting strangers.