Nottingham business owners have reacted to a new mask mandate for shops and public transport.
It comes as the government announced masks should be worn in shops and on public transport, in hair salons, post offices, and banks, unless you are exempt. People who break the rules could be fined £200. The new ruling came into effect at midnight on Monday, November 29.
This is in response to the discovery of the new Omicron variant first identified in southern Africa. Cases have also been reported in Nottingham.
One shop owner said she “didn’t notice any difference” on mask wearing while another said it was “half and half”.
They also raised concerns that a further lockdown could be brought in if infections in the city continue to rise.
“Some people have been wearing a face mask, it’s about half and half.”
Kyra Chapman, aged 21, at the MSR newsagent store in Skipton Circus, said: “Some people have been wearing a face mask, it’s about half and half.
“But people have been wearing face masks on the bus, I saw at the top of the bus everyone wearing a face mask.”
She added: “I’m worried about us going into general lockdown especially now we are going into Christmas.
“I’m also worried it will affect the shop as we have three shops in town and during the last lockdown two were closed and one opened.
“It will reduce my hours of work.”
Rachel Preston, aged 39, a health food shop owner on Mansfield Road, said: “I am worried it’s going to affect people working from home and also businesses, not just shops.
“People are going to be less likely to come out and socialize.
She added: “Throughout the other lockdowns we didn’t have to close because we are an essential shop.
“But will still affect us because people aren’t coming to the centre as much as they usually would.
“I didn’t notice any difference between people wearing a mask or not while coming to work.”
Bus driver, Peter Lee, aged 44, from Basford added: “Since the new restriction was announced a lot of people have been putting on face masks on the bus this morning.”
He added: “I am worried about going into lockdown as this will affect businesses and also people in general.”