THE Northern Echo asked Newton Aycliffe residents what they thought of being required to wear masks indoors again – this is what they had to say.

The new rules, which came into affect yesterday, ask that members of the public now wear a face covering or a mask in shops including the likes of banks, post offices and hairdressers, unless you are exempt.

The rules have been met with overall acceptance by most Aycliffe residents, however, some believed the restrictions “do not make a difference.”

The Northern Echo:

Julie Dale from Newton Aycliffe, said that she had been wearing a face covering since the beginning of the pandemic.

She said: “We’ve been waring them since the start really and even when it was announced you didn’t have to wear them we’ve worn them anyway, it’s no problem to us.

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“We’re hoping it helps, we have to do what you can do, you know, keep your distance and wash your hands and all the rest.

“I think the masks do help because people are coughing and sneezing and everything else and you don’t want to end up getting anything else.

“I’m worried but I can’t see it going away, it is a worry thought because you don’t really know the seriousness of the new one yet.

“I mean, the figures are going up every day, the figures are 16 I think now from three yesterday I believe.

“So it is worrying but we just have to get on with it, but this is what we do up here in the North East, we just get on with it.

“I think after Christmas and in the middle of January I’m predicting we’ll be in lockdown, we’ll just see how the figures go but as soon as there’s any outcry we’ll be locking us down again.

“We’ve just got to get on with it.”

Diane Taylor from Newton Aycliffe said she didn’t mind wearing a mask “at all.”

She sad: “I think it’s alright, I don’t mind wearing one at all.

“I think it’s helping, surely it must be anyway, and I’m not too worried about the new variant, from what I’ve read it’s not going to be like the ones we have now.

“I think it’s supposed to be milder symptoms causing you to become tired and things like that, but we’re going to have it all the time.

“I don’t think Boris wants to lock us down again, but if he does he does, if he doesn’t we’ll just go on as we are.

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“I mean even before this new one, I still wore my mask when going into the shops, I’m one of those extra vulnerable people and I’m just waiting to get my booster now.”

John and Christine Alderson from Newton Aycliffe said: “We’ve always worn masks throughout and haven’t stopped.

The Northern Echo:

“I think it’s helping and makes everyone feel a bit safer doesn’t it? I think you have to be worried about this new variant though.

“Everything spreads so quickly so you’ve got to be wary about these things.

“I hope we won’t get locked down over Christmas, it doesn’t really apply to us because we don’t see a great deal of family over Christmas as they live away.

“But we do have a friend come to stay with us, she didn’t stay with us last year because of the lockdown, she could have as she was in our bubble but felt it was safer not to.

“I hope there isn’t a lockdown but if it has to be then it has to be doesn’t it, but it really doesn’t affect us that much.

“I mean a lot of family’s that missed last year would be a lot more affected.”

Aycliffe resident Linne Wills added: “I don’t think they should have stopped people wearing masks and I’m hoping that doing it is helping.

“I’m a little bit worried about the new variant, I have to go for my booster tomorrow though so we’ll see after that.

“I’m not sure if there’ll be any more lockdowns but if there has to then there has to, I would be upset if there was because of the grandkids and things.

“But if they have to they have to, it’s all for everybody’s safety.”

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Debra Howa, however, felt that mask wearing was a waste of time and she doesn’t “think wearing masks has helped so far.”

She said: “I don’t normally wear a mask because I work in a shop so I wear a shield, but I forgot to pick it up today and there was a mask in my pocket so I’m using that.

“I don’t like wearing it at all, but you have to don’t you, but this is my problem, my glasses steam up all the time that’s why I wear a shield.

“I don’t think wearing masks has helped so far and I’m not worried about this new variant either because it’s like that anagram on Facebook “no crimbo” that’s what the new variant means.

“There’s a big chance of another lockdown, but it hasn’t worked in the past so we just need to get on with it yeah.”

Joan Joyce, 84 and Mavis Cunningham, 81 from Newton Aycliffe, said: “We don’t mind, it’s just to keep us safe, but I’d rather not have to because it makes my glasses team up.

“I think it must be helping surely, I mean they’re on about these drops aren’t they and so obviously masks protect against that don’t they.

“They’re saying it’s mild at the moment so I don’t know, there was someone in South Africa on This Morning talking about it.

The Northern Echo:

“They said we’re all overacting and so you just don’t know what to think do you.

“We’ve had out boosters and that but now they’re saying that may not be enough protection against this new one.

“But you can’t panic about it you just have to be sensible about it really.

“We’ve been doing all this for two years now and we’re alright, so there you go, and it’s not like it was last year, that was terrible.

“We hope there won’t be another lockdown anyway, I don’t think it will come to that really.”

John Tancock 68 from Newton Aycliffe, said: “It’s a nuisance, especially in the cold weather because they steam my glasses up.

“I think it’s helping and it’s a good idea, everyone should be wearing one, we always get people that are not bothered but that’s stupid.

“I am definitely worried about this new variant because it’s just been in television before I came out, the Covid jabs don’t cover this variant so we are going to have to make another vaccine.

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“They’re bringing the boosters down from a six months wait to three month wait but it means everyone in the country is going to have to do it.

“These people who haven’t had their jabs yet want to get off their backsides and get it done because they’re just putting everyone else at risk.

“It depends on how bad it gets as to whether we will be in lockdown again over Christmas.

“It’s gone up to nine in Scotland, I don’t know how many there are  in England but if it keeps rising the way it has, we’re in for a long Christmas and we could be in another lockdown.

“I think it’s good to have lockdown because people are going to be safer, but bad in a sense you won’t get to see anyone over Christmas.

“But there’s not much else the government can do, if people don’t abide by the rules you’re just putting everyone else at risk.”


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