Why Horsham people want masks to be mandatory this winter to control the spread of Covid
A return to mandatory masks this winter would be popular in Horsham, according to our readers.
The Prime Minister this week announced his plans for controlling Covid-19 in the months ahead, with a booster jab campaign and people encouraged to wear masks and meet outside.
A further lockdown is not part of the plan - but has not been ruled out by ministers or Downing Street.
Following the announcements, we asked what the people in Horsham would prefer - precautions against the virus to remain voluntary this winter, or whether people would feel safer with the return of mandatory restrictions.
And the majority of those who responded to our question on Facebook wanted masks to be compulsory again.
Among them was Celia Allum who said: "Looking at how people behaved - I’ll keep my masks on and avoid large gatherings of people! Better be safe than sorry."
Caroline Vincent said "I never stopped wearing a mask!"
Elizabeth Murphy also thought masks should be mandatory, adding: "Boris introduced them too late and removed them too early. All other countries in Europe seem to be still using them. Boris said there will be no winter lock down this year, so in other words there definitely will be!"
Samantha Sinclair said: "Anything to get rid of it should be mandatory, fed up listening to 'what about my rights', well what about mine? Nobody says anything about my right to be safe from Covid-19, to be protected from the people who won't wear masks in crowds or won't get their jabs to try & get us through this."
Anita Lane was in agreement: "Mandatory. The UK has already shown it is incapable of sticking to rules unless it's law!"
Stephanie Grant said: "Definitely feel safer wearing a mask and keeping distance."
Sarah Mulford commented: "They should never have been taken away they need to protect us from the people that think it's against their human right not to be jabbed."
Darren Lang said: "I will do what ever I need to make sure my family stay safe. I hope we don’t get mandatory restrictions."
Nick Grant added: "Politicians do politics. Let the scientists tell us how best to protect ourselves and each other. I don’t want to see any avoidable fatalities at all."
Andy Russell said: "Masks don't protect you from a virus - they protect others from your germs. So mandatory, NO exceptions. If my neighbour, with severe COPD, still wears a face shield, so can everyone else."
Jennie Marie Todman also agreed: "They need to be mandatory. This isn’t going anywhere and the Hospitals are fit to burst . Come on ! Please be sensible."
Margaret S Ford thought they should be 'mandatory at least this winter,' and Vikki Shelley said: "Bring back the masks in crowded places, shops etc, but don’t restrict people again, it’s so isolating."
Louise Cannon commented: "Masks should be mandatory in all crowded indoor places and public transport until we're out of this mess."
And Tony Eadie said: "I’ve not stopped wearing my mask and I personally think opening clubs pubs cinemas events etc was a bad idea and to be honest I can see another lockdown this winter if we don’t stop and listen."
Graham Lord added: "Masks should be mandatory in shops and on public transport."
But Mark Cruise had another view: "It depends on hospitalisation rates. If it looks like hospital beds are being filled up with COVID cases so that other life threatening conditions can’t be treated then I’ll feel safer if restrictions are introduced. Otherwise it should remain voluntary."
And others were in favour of masks and other precautions being left up to their own judgment.
Lana Brooker commented: "If they want us to wear face coverings then hand them out for free DO NOT make us pay for something you want us to wear really quite that simple. But I will not be spending anymore of my money if then sorry, what was the point of me getting double jabbed just to living exactly the same as I did before."
Zoë Rachel said: "Everyone has their own opinions & views on this. I personally feel that Covid 19 is here to stay & something that we need to learn to live with & build immunities. I’m double vaccinated & wear a mask in shops, medical centres etc still. The vulnerable can still wear masks if they’re able to. I think it should be by choice though. More people are dying from other things like tests, operations & treatments that were cancelled due to Covid so I think the NHS needs to get up fully running again & have separate hospitals or wings for Covid only. Even getting a GP appointment is harder than climbing Mount Everest these days. Hospital appointments, tests, scans & treatments are still being cancelled or ridiculously long waiting list….people are dying because of impact from Covid more than from getting it! Boris needs to sort this out first & foremost!"
Jane Hetherington Francis added: "Personally I don’t have much faith in the ability of a fabric face covering to prevent the spread of Covid. We would require medical grade to ensure protection."
Julie Woodley said: "Voluntary and get on with life. I think more people will see others are doing it and keep up with it that way. MPs have major issues in following and interpreting their own rules anyhow !! The majority of us were vaccinated to try and stop this again and it’ll keep continuing just get on with life now wear a mask if you’re ill or stay home - think of the common good - you can do that without being forced. Those that didn’t before still won’t. Those that did before will. So stop creating work for the police and animosity towards others by making something compulsory!!"
Lynn Panton commented: "Definitely voluntary, not everyone can comfortably wear a face covering, anyway unless they are medical grade they aren't going to do much good! People just need to respect others and keep a reasonable distance - if you don't like crowds then stay away from them!"
Caroline Niblett also through masks should be voluntary: "We need to start living with it. Come what may. I’m double vaccinated. I still continue to wear a mask on public transport and in shops etc. I do what I think is right by my family. But others have the right to choose theirs."
Geoff Oborne added: "There shouldn't be any restrictions anymore," and Michelle Herring agreed, saying: "Remain voluntary let the people decide not the government."