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‘Selling like hot cakes’-Face masks fly off the shelves as town adapts

PUBLISHED: 11:09 25 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:41 25 July 2020

Knit Wits and Fabrics staff member Lisa Waterhouse, left, and co-owner Fiona Joisce. The shop sells face masks, and staff said customers had all been happy to wear their own when entering the story. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Knit Wits and Fabrics staff member Lisa Waterhouse, left, and co-owner Fiona Joisce. The shop sells face masks, and staff said customers had all been happy to wear their own when entering the story. Picture: Stuart Anderson

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Face masks have been selling “like hot cakes” at a Norfolk shop, as new rules around covering up are introduced.

Heather Neave volunteer at the Cancer Research UK charity shop in High Street, Dereham. She said customers had all been wearing face masks. Picture: Stuart AndersonHeather Neave volunteer at the Cancer Research UK charity shop in High Street, Dereham. She said customers had all been wearing face masks. Picture: Stuart Anderson

People across the country have welcomed the rules - designed to limit the spread of coronavirus - to differing degrees, since taking effect on July 24.

But Lisa Waterhouse, who works at Knit Wits and Fabrics in Dereham’s High Street, said face masks had presented no problems on their first day, and trade even seemed to be busier than usual.

And she said the shop’s own self-made face masks had quickly become a bestselling item.

She said: “It’s been really good - nobody has come in without a face mask on. And we’ve been very busy.

Craig and Chloe Briggs, from Dereham, were wearing their face masks on a trip into the town centre. Pictured with family friend Rianna, nine. Picture: Stuart AndersonCraig and Chloe Briggs, from Dereham, were wearing their face masks on a trip into the town centre. Pictured with family friend Rianna, nine. Picture: Stuart Anderson

“You have to wear them so you just have to get on with it and comply with the rules.

“Our own masks have been selling like hot cakes.

“We have between 20 and 40 for sale every day and they always sell out. We can’t make them fast enough.”

MORE: ‘Everybody is sensible and compliant’ - shoppers praised for mask wearing

Elsewhere in Dereham, shop staff and customers were generally happy to follow the face mask rule.

Heather Neave, volunteer at the Cancer Research UK charity shop in High Street, said: “Everyone who has come in has been happy to put one on. If customers come to the door and they don’t have a mask, we have them available.”

She said many people still seemed reluctant to return to the high street, but thought that was due to general caution in the wake of the pandemic, rather than the face mask rule.

Craig and Chloe Briggs, from Dereham, were wearing their masks on a trip into the town centre. Mr Briggs said: “It’s something we’ve been told to do, so we’re doing it when we go into the shops.

“Some things about the rules don’t make a lot of sense, like how you don’t have to wear them in pubs. When people are consuming alcohol, they can’t socially distance very well.”

Another shopper, Glynis Goulding, of Dereham, said: “I’m happy to do it but it gets a bit hot under here! You don’t want to get a fine when going into shops.

“If they want us to wear one, then why not?”

Face coverings are compulsory in shops, but there are some exceptions. Shop employees, children under 11, and people with certain conditions including limited vision and anxiety do not have to wear one. They are also not required in pubs, restaurants and cafes if you are sitting down to eat or drink.


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