New face mask rules: Are Yarmouth shoppers complying?

Market Gates November 30 2021

Shoppers in Market Gates have been largely observing the new rules on face-masks which came into force on Tuesday November 30 to stop the spread of the new Omicron variant. - Credit: Liz Coates

Most people shopping in Great Yarmouth on Tuesday were wearing face masks as new rules came into force from 4am.

In the town's Market Gates shopping centre just a handful of people were bare-faced, with security looking to educate rather than enforce.

Centre manager Nick Spencer said staff were giving out free masks at the start of the day and directing people to shops that sold them once they all opened.

Overall, he said most people were complying and those that weren't said it was because they hadn't realised.

"We are not turning people away or refusing entry," he said. "It's about education."

At Sentiments card shop in Great Yarmouth Market Place Primrose Burton said she hadn't served a single customer without a mask.

She said one or two older people had complained it made it difficult to see through their glasses, but they were still sticking to the rules.

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She added she was prepared to remind people without masks that they were now mandatory.

"We all need to be safe and we are pleased to be open and trading," she said.

People in Yarmouth said they supported mask wearing as "the right thing to do."

New rules around mask-wearing and travel were introduced from Tuesday, as the government attempts to stop the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

Under the new rules shoppers are required to wear a mask in stores and on public transport, and those arriving in the UK from abroad will now have to take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

All those who have come into contact with someone who has the Omicron variant will also have to self-isolate for ten days.

It comes after the UK reported 11 cases of the new variant, with health secretary Sajid Javid expecting cases to rise in the coming days.

Meanwhile figures published by NHS England for the third dose/booster jab by local authority show take up in Yarmouth is the lowest in the county across all age groups.

In the 65-69 age group 46.7pc of adults have had their third dose compared to 62.9pc in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. And in the 70-74 range Yarmouth's 64.9pc is well below all other local authority areas in Norfolk.