To mask or not to mask, has been a topic of conversation since the very beginning of the pandemic.

Recent concerns about the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 has sparked new measures in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the virus. It means masks are back just in time for the festive period.

Face coverings have just become mandatory again on public transport and shops in England but will not be needed in pubs and restaurants this time round.

Our readers have been sharing their thoughts on face masks. And there is a definitive divide in opinion at the news.

In response to a Wiltshire Times Facebook post, Jane Symonds argued that the topic was not up for debate for her.

She said: “Haven’t stopped wearing a mask in shops or on buses. Medical staff have work masks forever. In viral and infectious situations to stop the spread, it works in a hospital so why not in enclosed spaces, if we all comply surely it will help.”

Mary Strong added her thoughts that mask-wearing was a small price to pay if it could increase safety levels.

Mary stated: “Unfortunately so many still believe the whole covid thing isn’t real, until it hits your household or friends you care about. Wearing one for ten or fifteen minutes in a shop isn’t a hardship considering some have to wear it for 12-hour shifts.

“So let’s all do our bit, help that shop assistant who doesn’t want to be there unsure if he or she will catch it or pass it on.”

But the implications of masks’ return is not an easy prospect for everyone. Sam Manfa Drew spoke about the challenges which it has presented for her which some people may not have to consider day-to-day.

She said: “As someone who relies on lip reading to communicate, masks are a nightmare for me. Was just starting to get a bit of independence back but now it’s gone again.”

And some people feel that the measures are inconsistent due to only existing in particular settings, with some still adamant it presents a problem in regard to free will.

Ginger Nicholls said: “Rules do not allow for free choice, made by flawed people and are non-sensical cannot be respected. Good health and overcoming illness involves something far beyond the wearing of a mask.”

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