Friday, July 17, 2020

Can you help me?

The UK Government has belatedly decided that wearing face masks in public is a good idea. The aim is to restore confidence and get people spending money again in shops etc. The problem is that their announcements are confusing and yet again, they are giving out mixed messages.

Michael Gove said that wearing a mask should be a matter of courtesy and was then photographed without one on his trip to pick up a take away breakfast. Others, visiting the same take away, were wearing their masks.  Who was right?

Matt Hancock, who had previously made no distinction between shops and take away food outlets felt it necessary to back track on his statement. He now excludes take away outlets from the rule.

I hope I have got this right; if you are going to a  proper shop e.g. a supermarket, you must wear a mask. If you fail to do so, the shop keeper or assistant can call the police who could decide to fine you £100. However, if you are a Government Minister going to Pret a Manger to pick up your take away breakfast, you don't need to wear a mask.

OK, we need to be clear. For the benefit of lesser mortals, am I right in assuming that a humble fish and chip shop would be classed the same as an upmarket take away? What about going into the newsagent to pick up my copy of the Sun and a packet of Woodbines or to the chemist to buy “something for the weekend”?

Can you see where I am going here? We need to know if what you are buying or the time you spend in the premises are the deciding factors.

Michael Gove might not be phased by a £100 fine but the majority of the country would struggle to pay such an amount. 

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