Omicron Variant: Wiganers voice their views on the re-introduction of Covid-19 face masks

Shoppers in Wigan town centre have voiced their views on the re-introduction of face masks in shops.

By Amos Wynn
Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 2:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 4:11 pm

The majority of people have welcomed their return, amid the spread of the Omicron Variant.

Owner of Games N More Tony Porter believes masks should never have gone away, and has always kept them as mandatory in his shop.

He said: “I had people coming in saying we don’t have to wear masks anymore, and I said it’s your choice not to wear them, and it’s mine to have them in my area. People think they were cured because they were injected, but you can still carry the virus and spread it.

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Masks have always remained mandatory in Tony Porter's shop

“As far as I’ve been concerned, keep your masks on, I don’t want to go into another lockdown. I’ll always keep them in, and maybe make them mandatory between March and November for the next few years as a sensible precaution while we get control of Covid.

“I’d sooner have the inconvenience of wearing a mask, than the inconvenience of another lockdown. I think if there is a variant anywhere in the world, we should instantly stop planes from coming in. It could still be better from the government.”

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Mr Porter says the majority of people have respected his decision and happily worn their masks.

Paul Hogarth says he feels safer wearing a mask

“I’ve had a couple of Karen’s, but the majority of people get it and are happy with it. I get a lot of vulnerable people coming in who I want to protect. We have to come to terms with the fact that masks are the new normal for the foreseeable future.

“We don’t know what this new variant is, but we have to do something, even if it is a minor thing. We can’t act like it is 2018.”

Like Mr Porter, shopper Paul Hogarth , has always kept his mask on even when it was not mandatory.

He said: “From getting on the bus to going home, I never take it off. They should never have taken it away. I’ve seen a lot of young people not wearing them, but Covid has not gone. I’m 72 and it’s just frightening.”

Carole and Lesley Bloor are not bothered by the re-introduction of face masks and are happy to wear them

Shoppers Carole and Lesley Bloor were also happy to wear their masks again.

Lesley said: “I think it is the right thing, we may have been jabbed but a lot of people have not. It doesn’t bother us at all. With this new variant you don’t know what it will mutate into, so I’d rather wear them early.

Carole added: “It might come to nothing but you just don’t know. They have acted quicker, but they had to because they left it too late last time. We check ourselves with tests every so often, because you’ve still got to live your life and carry on.”

Meanwhile, on social media, the majority of people were also happy with the return of face masks.

One wrote: “It doesn’t bother me.”

Another added: “Better be safe than sorry really, but it’s winter now so I don’t mind wearing it again, save me catching winter colds and keep my face warm.”

Despite this, some people did question how much attention people will pay to them.

They wrote: “Joke. It’s gone too far now, everyone just does what they want anyway. Who is seriously going to listen to government advice?”

The re-introduction of masks could create more business for a Golborne based PPE manufacturer.

The certified and UKCA/CE marked range from international company Globus Group began producing a range of cutting-edge face masks that could transform Covid care on the front line earlier this year.

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