‘It’s still really early to make that decision’: What people in Wales say about face masks being scrapped

Some people in Cardiff say they will continue to wear masks even if all restrictions around them were lifted, following the latest Welsh Government review of the Covid rules for Wales.

Covid passes will no longer be required from next Friday, February 18 and, 10 days later, from February 28, people will no longer need to wear face coverings in all indoor places.

However, masks will still be required in shops, health and care facilities and public transport. If cases continue to fall, the Welsh Government hopes to lift all masks rules by the end of March.

Read more: Face masks and Covid passes to be scrapped in latest Welsh Government lockdown review

We asked residents in Cardiff how they feel about the prospect of masks being scrapped in indoor places.

Megan Webley, 21, who, works at Iechyd Da in Whitchurch said: “I think they shouldn’t be scrapped completely.

“I think we should still wear them to protect elderly customers and make them feel at ease. We have a lot of elderly customers, and it will make them feel a lot more safe and at ease when they come into the shop.”

Megan Webley

Aled Gwyn, a Cardiff resident, said: “I think we will have to follow the data and regulations. I think it’s well worth wearing them to safeguard other people.”

Mr Gwyn added: “They should follow the scientific advice. I think it is well worth us wearing the masks so we can safeguard other people, and not just ourselves.

Audrey Pippen said she felt it was up to individuals to decide whether or not they wanted to continue to wear masks.

“I think it is up to the individual person – if they feel safer wearing it, they should wear it,” she told WalesOnline.

Aled Gwyn

Audrey Pippen

Whitchurch resident David Morgan caught coronavirus back in March 2020 and spent time in hospital with the virus.

“I’ve had Covid myself and I prefer to wear [a mask],” he said.

“If other people want to wear it, they can wear it, if they don’t, they don’t, but I’d rather them keep away from me.”

Speaking about the prospect of lifting face covering restrictions in all indoor places, he added: “They [Welsh Government] should wait until the Covid has gone. Going to England, you’ve got all sorts – football matches [with people not wearing masks].

“[Prince] Charles has picked it up somewhere, and he might just pass it onto the Queen – we don’t know.”

David Morgan

The Queen is currently being monitored after a ‘recent’ meeting with Prince Charles, who has tested positive for coronavirus for a second time. A Buckingham Palace source told the Mirror that the Queen isn’t showing any symptoms, but did “recently” meet with her son. However, the Palace has refused to confirm or deny whether Her Majesty has Covid.

Currently, in England, people are no longer legally required to wear masks in most public places. However, they are still recommended in “crowded and enclosed spaces” where people may come into contact with others that they do not normally meet.

Darren Yorath, 32, is a front line health care worker, and says that masks have helped protect himself and his colleagues when coming into contact with people who have coronavirus.

Darren Yorat

“I don’t think it’s a great idea to scrap masks in Wales as, during the pandemic, masks have prevented the spread,” he said.

“It is really important to take it seriously and wear a mask as it protects ourselves. I think it is too early to consider it.

“It is still really early to make that decision – it’s still spreading. Working on the front line, I have definitely noticed the benefits to stop the spread.

“If they do scrap the masks , I will still be wearing it regardless to stop the spread.”

Yvonne Bodman said she felt that masks shouldn’t be scrapped completely “as Covid is still here.”

Yvonne Bodman

“I would still continue wearing them in shops and on public transport,” the 67-year-old said, adding that she would still want shops to provide a hand sanitiser.

“It only takes a couple of seconds,” she added.

June Jenkins, 72, said: “I think they should be in public places still, like shops and shops, because that’s where you are more likely to rub against people.”

June Jenkins

She added that, as a church-goer, she “hates” wearing a mask to sing, and would like them to be scrapped in “places like that”.

“I think eventually they should [be scrapped] but at the moment we need them to be in shops and public transport. But we also need to be thinking about the vulnerable and should we be protecting them, or should we use our own discretion.”

Schools will be able to make their own decisions about face masks from February 28. From February 11, adults can remove their face coverings when they are interacting with babies and small children at baby and toddler groups.

The next review will be on Thursday, March 3 when the remaining measures at alert level zero will be reviewed, including businesses having to draw up specific plans and the rules around self-isolation.

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