Large numbers of shoppers and commuters have continued wearing masks despite a rift of COVID curbs in England including face coverings and vaccine passports being scrapped.
Supermarkets and public transport operators are still demanding customers do the right thing and cover their faces despite COVID cases, hospitalisations and deaths all falling in the past 24 hours.
People at a Tesco superstore in Slough, Berkshire and an Asda in Kings Heath, south Birmingham decided not to wear masks today. However, huge numbers of commuters at Liverpool Street Station in London chose to keep wearing face coverings.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said masks will remain obligatory on Transport for London (TfL) services, calling on people to do the right thing.
The Labour figure has warned that face coverings will remain a condition of carriage on all TfL services including Tubes, buses, Overground trains, trams or riverboats, meaning people without masks may be denied travel unless exempt.
TfL warned that those who don’t wear face coverings may be prevented from using their services or asked to exit the network, but the threat of being fined if people don’t cover their faces has been dropped because it will be no longer legally enforceable.
A spokesman told a newspaper outlet said that TfL has fined more than 1,800 commuters not wearing masks since the curbs were imposed in November.
Boris Johnson’s critics have accused the embattled Prime Minister of axing draconian measures imposed to tackle Omicron in a bid to appease his restless backbench as Westminster braces for Cabinet Office mandarin Sue Gray’s much-anticipated report into the Partygate drama.
But writing on Twitter, the Tory chief warned the pandemic wasn’t over and told people to stay alert. He also urged anyone who hasn’t yet got their vaccine to come forward.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman, when questioned about masks, said it will now be a matter of personal judgment. But public health guidance urged people to wear a face-covering in packed and enclosed areas if coming into contact with strangers, and some stores, including Sainsbury’s and John Lewis, have announced that they will continue to tell people to wear masks.
Rail operators also said passengers would be expected to wear face coverings, with the Rail Delivery Group saying train firms will ask customers to wear masks out of politeness to others.
Also from today, a legal requirement for NHS COVID passes, dubbed vaccine passports by lockdown unbelievers, for admission to nightclubs and large events in England has been discarded.
However, these shops can’t order, it’s no longer the law. Oh, but they can request that people do wear masks in their store. They’re a public limited company and thus they have their own regulations, and if they don’t want unmasked customers in their stores they can turn them away. However, they can’t have them arrested unless, of course, they cause an affray.
But really, big stores haven’t been demanding for ages because it was hurting their business.
Rules are only there for the obeyance of fools and the guidance of the wise, and the wise look at the proof and make their own informed choice.
Sadly it’s the media making a mountain out of a molehill yet again. Putting one group against another so that the debate can be left open and perhaps diverting attention away from an elite who blatantly ignore their own rules because they knew what they were saying was rubbish and it was only to keep the populace in fear and compliance.
Masks are like comfort blankets suppressing the scars of peoples lives. Do they really protect you, well who really knows, but they are a breeding ground for bacteria once they’re on your face?