Wolverhampton shoppers pledge to continue wearing masks in bid to stay safe

Many shoppers in Wolverhampton are planning to keep wearing masks despite Government rules meaning they are no longer mandatory.

Ted and Ann McGann are planning to wear masks inside
Ted and Ann McGann are planning to wear masks inside

Legal measures requiring masks and Covid passes in England were dropped on Thursday, but many Black Country residents told the Express & Star they were planning on staying covered inside.

Amanda Evans, 38, of Firstbrook Close, Whitmore Reans, said: "I've got underlying health conditions. I'm diabetic and on medication so I wear my mask all the time and I'll keep doing that event though the rules have eased.

"My brother is a teacher and when I go to visit his home I wear my mask because he's got to go to work and is mixing with so many people. When I visit my mother I always take a lateral flow test first as she's vulnerable as well.

"I live in supported accommodation and we've had four Covid cases there. We have all been doubled jabbed and we sanitise hands when going in and out. It's all about having respect for each other."

Amanda Evans said respect for others is important

While businessman Ted McGann, 80, of Crantock Close, Essington, said: "I've always agreed with mask wearing. I'm never without one to protect everybody else and myself.

"We'll carry on wearing them when we're indoors with crowds and in enclosed spaces.

"It's very simple really. How can you be an anti-vaxxer when people have lost their parents and kids?"

"As soon as the vaccine was available I was among the first on the phone to get it along with my wife and children. I'm glad I did take the jab because last year I suffered a stroke and a heart attack and it wasn't a very good year for me regarding my health."

As the focus moves away from legal measures, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said face coverings were now “a matter of personal judgment”.

Paul Smith with Jayne French

Jayne French, 55, and of Ken Purchase Gardens, Bushbury, was among those welcoming the rule change.

She said: "I do wear my mask and I've followed the rules, but I think it's fantastic that we don't have to wear coverings everywhere like on public transport as I can breathe better.

"I'll still be wearing it indoors as necessary to protect myself and other people because the virus is airborne."

Rebecca Smith, 25, a mother, of Wednesfield Road, Heath Town, is reliant on lip reading meaning face coverings have been difficult to deal with.

She said: "I wouldn't say I was relieved to see the restrictions lifted as we're in a pandemic.

"I've have difficulty hearing so while I wear face coverings it does create issues for deaf and heard of hearing people like me.

"I lip read and if I'm talking to someone and their mouth is covered up, I can neither hear what they're saying to me or read their lips which can be problematic.

Chandel Stephens, 26, an entreprenuer, of Parkfields, said the rule change was an attempt at diverting attention from the alleged rulebreaking in Downing Street.

Chandel Stephens suggested the rule change is a distraction

She said: "I'm exempt from wearing face coverings on health grounds. I don't wear them, but I feel for the government to say we don't need them so much now is a contradiction.

"Covid hasn't gone so what's changed for us to lift Plan B?

"I feel this move it to do with Boris Johnson going to parties. It's hypocritical and a distraction.

"People have lost faith in the government and many had stopped wearing the face coverings anyway.

"Covid is always going to be here like the flu, the government needs to be honest about it.

"My view is people should be left to decide for themselves if they want to wear a mask or not. We all have human rights. I think the way the government is trying to take them away from us."

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