Eastwood and Kimberley residents divided over whether to ditch face masks as Covid rules lift

Residents of Eastwood and Kimberley are torn over whether or not to ditch their face coverings after ‘Freedom Day’ finally arrived earlier this week.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 9:29 am

Face coverings are no longer a legal requirement in most public areas, nightclubs are open again at full capacity, and pubs and bars have begun serving customers at the bar again.

People are still being encouraged to use face coverings in crowded places, such as shops and on public transport to help stop the spread of Covid, but there is no legal requirement or fines if they opt not to.

Residents of Eastwood and Kimberley have had their say on the matter this week, with the majority stating they intend to continue wearing masks.

Have you ditched your mask yet?

We asked our readers: ‘Freedom Day’ is here… but will you be ditching the masks?’

Carolyn Talkes-Nicholls said: “Absolutely not. It protects other people and I’d like to hope they will offer me the same respect.”

Sandra Savage agreed: “No, whatever happened to helping others in society?

“We aren't being asked to fight and die to save people just wear a mask, how hard is that?

“The wartime generation would laugh at it.”

Alan Best added: “No, it's getting worse again. Lockdown following shortly.”

Joanne Lidgett said others shouldn’t be judged for choosing to wear one even though it is no longer a requirement.

She said: “No way. I’m on kidney dialysis and very vulnerable still. So other people, don’t judge if you see someone wearing a mask – it might be saving their lives.”

But while there was an air of caution among many residents, others were not as concerned.

Andrew Davies said: “Ditched mine a few weeks ago, but still have one handy for certain circumstances.”

Dan Sharp said: “If people have been allowed to wear just visors, which are not legal coverings and must be accompanied with a mask for the past year, there is little justification for companies to insist masks are worn now.”

Kelly Hoggins said: “Yes, but will carry one with me just in case it's overly busy.”

Michael O’Neill added: “Yes. We’ve got to get back to normal now.”