TO mask or not to mask?

As we approach the end of the week that started with ‘Freedom Day’ allowing coronavirus restrictions to be lifted across England, I took a trip into town to see how Northwich was responding to the change.

I must say, it is very much each to their own in day-to-day life anymore – readers have responded with each other well on social media over the fact that in and around town, it is a personal choice.

It is not a legal requirement to wear a covering anymore on transport and in shops, though government guidance says it expects and recommends the continued wearing of masks in crowded areas such as public transport.

Residents have also been urged to remain cautious by health chiefs and bus and taxi owners.

So from being in Stretton beforehand, I jumped on the bus by the Cat and Lion after a quick trip into the post office to buy this weeks paper (if you haven’t already, you’re free to do so).

On the bus heading to town, my first though was about the heat to be honest. But when I sat down and scanned the bus there were three with masks on, and ten chose not to.

After a while though, an elderly couple brought their masks down for a chat and a woman put hers on, so it ended up with the vast majority opting not for a mask.

A couple of people did chose to put masks on when leaving the bus, though.

You can’t go wrong with the journey into town, a nice bit of scenery and then we got sprayed by water guns by a couple of cheeky chaps in Barnton no older than 10 – we would all do the same at that age.

The bus pulled up by Apple Market Place and given it was 25, you can imagine that I was not too keen to venture out for miles without any factor 50.

A warm walk around the market later, with quite a few residents enjoying sitting out on the benches there.

I returned to the bus, but the return from Northwich to Warrington in a hot bus on a lovely summers day was not that busy – more of what I expected.

Three people chose to wear face coverings on the way back and two did not. However, all masks were down when sat.

Meaning that overall 33.33% wore masks at some point, with many taking them off when sat, and 66.66% chose not to wear masks in a space where the government advises it.

It may have been influenced by the heat, but the results were a stark contrast to what I found in Warrington, where 76.9% of travellers chose to wear masks.