Coronavirus - Strange times

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Pete
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Location: Dundee

cdd wrote:
Mon 20 Jul, 2020 18.15
How do others think mandatory masks in shops are going to play out? The number of people doing so at present are extremely low, unlike public transport where there was substantial pre-existing compliance.
In Scotland it's pretty much 100%. I'm actually surprised how little fuss there was. Although to be honest the matter of fact way it was announced without Boris and his handwringing followed by opt outs to save Michael Gove's blushes might have been part of that.
"He has to be larger than bacon"
all new Phil
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Location: Next door to Hell

Sometimes I think in this godforsaken country that the best thing for the government to do is to make the opposite of what it wants to happen to be mandatory. People seem determining to rebel because iF cUmMiNgS cAn ThEn So WiLl I 🤪
Thought this was a nice forum, clearly not.
thegeek
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Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 12.35

gottago wrote:
Mon 20 Jul, 2020 10.26
This has popped up in the former Mothercare in Westfield Stratford. It looks a little more permanent than you'd think for something that will probably be temporary but I expect this one will be the one they wheel out in front of the press and will perhaps look a bit fancier than other centres across the country.
I saw a picture of that on Twitter, and the first response was "they're letting us gays give blood now?"

Mothercare was a pretty big unit, but I guess Westfield would have trouble filling it at the moment, and I doubt they're charging rent for this. The permanent bits are probably little more than the sign - I'd imagine the rest is probably furniture and divider screens usually used for mobile blood banks.

gottago wrote:
Mon 20 Jul, 2020 10.26
How busy are everyone's local shopping centres?
I live and work fairly near that Westfield, so would end up there several times a week, mostly to pick up food. I've not been since March, and I can't say I'm particularly missing it.

cdd wrote:
Mon 20 Jul, 2020 18.15

How do others think mandatory masks in shops are going to play out? The number of people doing so at present are extremely low, unlike public transport where there was substantial pre-existing compliance.
anecdotally I'd heard that people in Scotland were just getting on with it and compliance was fairly high.
scottishtv
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

The face coverings thing reminded me a bit of the smoking ban. A lot of fuss in the papers before it happened, all sorts of predictions of non-compliance etc. but in fact when the day arrived, the vast majority of people just quietly got on with it.
Philip
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scottishtv wrote:
Tue 21 Jul, 2020 18.00
The face coverings thing reminded me a bit of the smoking ban. A lot of fuss in the papers before it happened, all sorts of predictions of non-compliance etc. but in fact when the day arrived, the vast majority of people just quietly got on with it.
Bit of a difference this time though… the fact that people who are exempt from wearing them do not need a doctor's note makes me wonder how many dirty looks/aggressive language they'll get from people who think they're just not abiding by the rules. Not that a doctor's note would help with dirty looks anyway.
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scottishtv
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

At the start, I was thinking everyone was looking and judging the style/design/colour of my mask anyway.

I noticed some of the bus operators let you print off a self-declared exemption card you can show to the driver (if you want), but I don't think other people are really all that bothered.
cwathen
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scottishtv wrote:
Tue 21 Jul, 2020 18.48
I noticed some of the bus operators let you print off a self-declared exemption card you can show to the driver (if you want), but I don't think other people are really all that bothered.
I have it on good authority that First Bristol have told drivers that they can 'remind' passengers of the need to wear a face covering, but must stop short of refusing to carry in case they inadvertently refuse to carry someone with a genuine medical reason for not wearing one. Hardly surprising given the well publicised TFL position on this, and I imagine it's the same across the board.

The face covering situation would have been so straightforward to sort out in the UK if it was introduced and enforced properly. Unlike the USA, I see little evidence of any significant number of people who are ideologically opposed to wearing a mask and would make a scene over it on a point of principle, it's more that people either don't care or that they intended to comply but forgotten to take a mask out with them and certainly aren't going to not go on public transport if they know that no one will enforce it anyway.

I imagine the situation will be similar when shops start requiring face coverings from Friday.

A simple solution would have been for a single national exemption card that needs to be stamped and signed off by a Doctor (with an initial grace period where someone can get a self-certified temporary card to enable them time to get a signed off one) and for some high profile enforcement activity by the BTP. It wouldn't take long for the message to get through. Yes of course forgeries and/or schemes to get around it are possible but we're not talking about a fake Passport here; the number of people who would bother to do this rather than just wear a mask are too slight to be much of a concern.

However I think it is very important that enforcement comes from the authorities (either police or LA) with transport staff (or retail staff in shops) not being held accountable for enforcing the rules if they don't feel safe doing so - perhaps it could be a more useful thing for employees of the various 'litter police' schemes that have popped up all over as a revenue earner in recent years to do.
tightrope78
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Joined: Fri 27 Feb, 2015 15.35

I was in Dublin for a few days last week and I'd say about 30% of people I saw were wearing a mask, they only became compulsory in Ireland yesterday (on public transport last week). Mitigating this was better enforcement of social distancing in shops. Whilst some bars and restaurants were open you are strongly discouraged from going and most have voluntarily remained closed. A full reopening of pubs was delayed until mid August, at the earliest.

Here in Belfast I'd say mask wearing is no more than 20% of people. I was in the city centre on Sunday and i think i saw only 3 or 4 other people in masks, same at Tesco the other evening. I think we have lost the battle with masks in Belfast. A combination of a (wrong) belief that the virus is ‘gone’ (no deaths in over a week), together with mixed medical advice and inertia from Stormont has created this. Add in bigotry aimed at those cultures that have always wore masks and the inherent disregard for law & order that exists in Northern Ireland and you have a perfect storm.

Belfast city centre is busier than it was but much quieter than it would normally be. A lot of businesses operate on an all Ireland level and many have remained closed due to the much more slow pace of openings in the South. Our local shopping centres have been particularly hit by businesses closing due to the after effects of the pandemic. Victoria Square in Belfast has lost TM Lewin, Oasis and Warehouse in the past few weeks. Add to that Jaegar and Ted Baker hedging their bets on whether or not to reopen. Another huge loss for us is the closure of all Northern Ireland Eason newsagents. With the possibility that some in the Executive want a quarantine imposed on visitors from Great Britain these are very dark times, despite Northern Ireland handling the pandemic better than all the nation of the United Kingdom & Ireland (in relative terms of deaths and cases).
Martin Phillp
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Having the majority of non-essential shops open seems to have helped relieve the pressure off the supermarkets. I haven't queued to get in one, even on a Saturday.
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Beep
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cwathen wrote:
Tue 21 Jul, 2020 21.08
A simple solution would have been for a single national exemption card that needs to be stamped and signed off by a Doctor (with an initial grace period where someone can get a self-certified temporary card to enable them time to get a signed off one) and for some high profile enforcement activity by the BTP. It wouldn't take long for the message to get through. Yes of course forgeries and/or schemes to get around it are possible but we're not talking about a fake Passport here; the number of people who would bother to do this rather than just wear a mask are too slight to be much of a concern.
The issue is the legislation; it puts the onus on the prosecuting body to prove the requirement to wear a face covering.

At the start of all of this we were briefed that enforcement is the last step of the 4 'E's

Engage
Explain
Encourage
Enforce

But we were also told that if we did enforce the face covering side we would expect to fight it in court as the the exemptions are for us to disprove not the defendant to prove. They say they have a health problem, we accept it.

BTP policy dictates that if someone says they're exempt for medical/other reasons then we accept it.

I work at several busy London hub stations, about 95% of the passengers are wearing them, in the shops I'd say it's 98% compliance.
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