03:00PM, Friday 31 July 2020
It was all change on Maidenhead High Street this week as shoppers adjusted to the mandatory face covering rule imposed by the Government.
Since Friday, anyone entering shops and supermarkets have been required to wear a face mask to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking to the Advertiser before the rule was made compulsory, Maidenhead traders were confident their customers would comply.
And, after nearly a week of the new rule, one long-established shop, Goyals, reported no drop in takings.
Seema Goyal, owner of the school uniform shop in Bridge Street, told the Advertiser: “Everybody is wearing the face masks and nobody is saying anything.
“We have to get by. It has been really busy for us.”
Customers seemed to enjoy their visit to the store, despite concerns that the new regulations would put people off heading to the high street, she said.
“It is like an outing for them [customers]. They come in here and have a cup of tea sometimes,” she said.
Seema added she still offers masks to people who may visit her store without one.
There was concern that some retailers would not enforce the face covering rule, with additional question marks over police resources.
Those failing to wear one could face a £100 fine, in line with the penalty for failing to wear a face covering on public transport.
The Royal Borough’s lead member for health Cllr Stuart Carroll (Con, Boyn Hill) said it helps when you have ‘responsible retailers and shopkeepers’.
“Based on my observations, everybody has been complying,” he said.
“I think it is a sensible move and I support the guidance on the use of face masks.
“The evidence base remains unclear but there is a strong hypothesis that masks at least curtail transmission.
“It does help when you have responsible retailers and shopkeepers who are ensuring the guidance is being complied with.
“And of course, it is not just guidance, it is a legal requirement.”
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