Confusion reigns in Black Country as shoppers say they are losing trust in Government

The Government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been branded inconsistent by Black Country residents - with some people saying they are losing trust in advice.

Bill Hiscox
Bill Hiscox

Shoppers in Dudley said the latest lockdown measures were "pointless" and have created more "confusion" for people trying to observe safety guidance over Covid-19.

But not all the people interviewed by the Express & Star were critical of prime minister Boris Johnson's administration. One trader said Mr Johnson "couldn't have done a better job".

The new lockdown measures - announced on Tuesday evening - state that office staff should work from home if they can, pubs and restaurants must close at 10pm, face masks are compulsory in shops - fines for not wearing them have been doubled to £200, indoor team sport for adults is now banned and only 15 people can now attend weddings.

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On a rainy afternoon yesterday, it was clear to see basic safety guidelines - like the use of face masks and social-distancing - was being adhered to in Dudley town centre.

However, the new measures drew criticism. Office worker Alison Gjoka, 46, from Dudley, said: "I don't really understand the point in most of them.

Alison Gjoka

"Why shut pubs at 10pm? What difference is that going to make?

"Everyone will end up leaving at the same time. Does that mean you cannot catch coronavirus before 10pm? To me that is nonsensical."

Ms Gjoka said home office working would be "extremely difficult" for some people because "we don't have the facilities at home".

"I don't think the Government know what they are doing," she added. "Some people wear face masks, some people can't, some won't.

"I think more and more people are getting fed up with it and are not buying into it anymore. They are not believing in any of it."

Peter Burns, 79, from Kates Hill, said the Government had to introduce "something" to combat a rise in coronavirus cases.

Peter Burns

But he said: "I don't trust the Government. I don't think they have done a good job. I'm a pensioner. I had to go three months in the house, and the wife.

"They should have started it earlier when China started it, three or four months ago."

Sue Hale, 66, from Dudley, said the general public will have to "grin and bear" the new lockdown measures.

She agreed with the new rules introduced because the Government "have got to get rid of it somehow," she said.

But she added: "They are changing things so many times aren't they. One week they say you can do this, the next week they say you can't.

"It very much creates confusion for the general public including myself."

Paresh Bodalikar, 35, from Dudley, believes the Government was too slow to react over coronavirus.

He said quicker action could have prevented a second wave which the UK is now seeing, according to the Government.

Paresh Bodalikar

Bill Hiscox, 80, from Dudley, stuck a thank you NHS message onto his mobility scooter alongside England flags.

He believes coronavirus will be around for years.

John Bennett, 68, from Dudley, who volunteers on a fruit and vegetable stall, supports the Government's response, despite the criticism it has faced.

John Bennett

He said: "I support the Prime Minister.

"I don't think any Government or anybody could have done better than what he has done.

"I trust the Government. There's not a magic trick. You can't pull a rabbit out the hat to say this is the solution."

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