Freedom Day: What do you think about masks becoming optional?

Should masks become optional on July 19?

The Recorder asked readers for their views on face coverings: come July 19, should masks become optional? - Credit: Archant 2020

"Should we still have to wear face masks?"

Boris Johnson has revealed a major easing in lockdown restrictions for later this month and the Recorder asked its readers what they thought.

Mr Johnson clarified at the briefing this evening that face coverings will become voluntary.

There was a range of responses to the Recorder's Facebook poll: some people said yes, some said no - while others think masks should still be worn in certain places.

A group of readers - such as Sheila Delbaere, Jennifer Jen and Lauren Dawn Watts - will continue to don their mask. No exceptions.

Another cohort - including Evita Pintāne, Denise Newell and Liam Harris - staunchly believe that masks should come off in two weeks time. 

For others, it's conditional.

Gill Portch said she will "definitely" mask up in winter, while Pat Young will do so "in certain places like public transport".

The type of place - and how busy it is - seems to be one of the biggest influences on public opinion, including that of Ken Cansell.

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"Yes, in certain places because the virus is still being spread despite what the government decides," he said.

Linda Howard wrote: "I think we should carry on wearing masks in busy places. I'm scared of what the crowds at football and in the pubs are going to do to the figures in the coming weeks too."

Yet the approach at sporting events has made Emma McCormack question the rules: "What’s the point when 40,000 people can attend Wembley without one and God knows how many at Wimbledon without social distancing…"

Carer Kelly Booth made the point that some employers - including hers - may enforce masks for "at least a month or two more".

While the figures show that hospitalisations and deaths have declined hugely, Michelle Drake believes the public must remain cautious "whilst the Delta virus is still about".

Check back on the Recorder website for updates from today's Downing Street press conference.

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