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Face masks now mandatory in shops

SHOPPERS have a new look as it is now mandatory to wear a face masks in shops.

The use of face coverings in certain indoor settings, including shops, has been made mandatory from today, Monday, August 10.

The decision was made on Thursday after a rise in the R number which is now above one for the first time in months. The R represents how many people someone with COVID-19 will, on average, pass the disease on to.

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It is not compulsory for retail workers to wear masks but customers must now wear masks while in shops or a shopping centre, or an indoor space where is it not possible to socially distance from other people.

John Wallace, Manager of Supervalu in Omagh believes it is the right move if it protects staff and customers from the spread of the virus.

Speaking to the Herald he said, “Our staff have been wearing masks since last week, but it is the law for customers to wear a covering too.

“I think people need to get used to wearing masks when they are out doing their shopping, and this will take some time.

“Whether it is right, wrong or indifferent in their opinion, it is now compulsory so they must wear them.

“We do not know how long this will last and it is not nice having to wear a mask but it has to be done,” said Mr Wallace.

People are still expected to follow pubic health guidelines and maintain social distancing and wash hands for 20 seconds.

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Speaking about the introduction of mandatory face coverings, an Executive spokesperson said, “We have a collective duty and a personal responsibility to protect each other, and everyone who can wear a face covering should do so.

“It should not be viewed as an optional extra; it is a vital defence in our ongoing battle against Covid-19.

“Face coverings should be worn in shops and other enclosed spaces and no one should delay adopting this crucial measure.

“It will help to protect you and others.”

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW