Friday, July 24, 2020

From today

From today, people in England will be required to wear a face mask in shops. The confusion which I wrote about has now been cleared up.

Unless you are in a restaurant, bar or cafe that has seated accommodation, you must wear a mask in food outlets. And of course, you must wear a mask in ALL shops, banks, Post Offices etc.

Here in Valencia, it is simple. Only when you are seated in a bar, restaurant etc, actually eating or drinking can you remove your mask. In all other situations, in shops, banks and in the street, you are obliged to wear a mask. You don't need to wear a mask when you are sat or lying on the beach, taking exercise or swimming but you must wear one on the way to the beach and back including if you go to buy a drink or food.

I know from some of our friends in England that they are not happy about the idea of wearing a mask The plan was to make people feel more secure about going out but in some cases that may have backfired. Some have told us that they will no longer go out to shops if it means wearing a mask.

We know that a mask does not protect you from picking up the virus but it does limit the possibility of you transmitting the virus to others. In other words, masks are only effective if everyone wears them. Your mask protects me and mine protects you.

People with breathing difficulties or other medical conditions that would make wearing a mask difficult are exempt both here in Spain and in the UK.

I read a comment this morning from a reader in one of the UK papers saying that he was NOT going to wear a mask and if challenged would claim he had a medical reason to be exempt. You can imagine the response he got from other readers.

Let's face it, masks are not the most comfortable things to wear and are a nuisance to those of us who wear glasses. However, if they help to limit the spread of this awful virus and reduce the number of people dying, then we will put up with them. It was the same when the law required people to wear seat belts in cars; there were people who objected. It should not take the threat of a fine to make people do the right thing. 

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