Your Say: Should face masks be made a legal requirement again?

People in Dereham have given their take on face coverings potentially being legally mandated again

People in Dereham have given their take on face coverings potentially being legally mandated again - Credit: Archant

With the government revealing its Covid winter plan, face masks could soon be back on the agenda. 

Wearing a face covering indoors is not currently a legal requirement, although it remains a preference for many venues and retailers. 

The need to don a mask could, however, be enshrined into law again if the NHS comes under "unsustainable pressure". 

Chief Reporter Tom Chapman asked the people of Dereham what they think. 

Milly Kenward, 28, from Dereham, said: "At the moment, I think it should be the law to wear a face mask. Even in the long run, in certain situations such as doctors surgeries, I think it should be a practice that is continued.


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"As far as I'm concerned it's just like wearing another item of clothing. I don't feel like being told to wear a mask is an infringement on my freedom."

Milly Kenward, 28, from Dereham, is happy to continue wearing a face mask

Milly Kenward, 28, from Dereham, is happy to continue wearing a face mask - Credit: Archant

Damon Harris, 53, who runs Harris Hardware in Dereham, said: "I don't think making it the law again will make much difference. We get a lot of customers still wearing them, and the ones who don't are not particularly interested in doing so. I think most people still think they are supposed to be wearing them in shops anyway."

Damon Harris and his wife, Mel, who together run Harris Hardware in the centre of Dereham

Damon Harris and his wife, Mel, who together run Harris Hardware in the centre of Dereham - Credit: Archant

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Pat Anderson, 77, who lives in Toftwood, added: "If things get worse with the pandemic again, I reckon we should wear masks. I still wear one when I go into shops.

"A lot of younger people are only just getting their jabs. I'm an older person and wearing a mask makes me feel safe - and helps to keep others safe as well."

Pat Anderson, 77, who lives in Toftwood, is still wearing a face mask when she goes into shops

Pat Anderson, 77, who lives in Toftwood, is still wearing a face mask when she goes into shops - Credit: Archant

René Kendal, 58, from Toftwood, said: "If case numbers go up again, it would make sense to do it. Obviously we want to reduce hospitalisations and pressure on the NHS.

"The government was perhaps too slow in reacting at the start of the pandemic so, if there's a need to do it early, it should be done."

René Kendal, 58, who lives in Toftwood

René Kendal, 58, who lives in Toftwood - Credit: Archant

Carol Weston, 72, who lives in Lyng and works at Evie's of Dereham, added: "I would like to see them made a legal requirement again, but most people coming into the shop are wearing them - especially older people because they are still very nervous. I think we need that extra protection."

Carol Weston, 72, lives in Lyng and works at Evie's of Dereham

Carol Weston, 72, lives in Lyng and works at Evie's of Dereham - Credit: Archant

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