FACE coverings have played a vital role throughout the pandemic, but are less people in the UK wearing them now than they were before?
With growing concerns over the new covid variant, Omicron, we headed into Slough to find out what shoppers think about face masks.
It has not been a legal requirement to wear masks or coverings indoors or on public transport since July 19.
The government now recommends that people wear masks in crowded or enclosed spaces, including public transport.
But in Slough’s Queensmere Shopping Centre, it was apparent that many people chose not to follow this guidance.
Around 30% of people were wearing a face covering, with the other 70% not wearing one at all.
Two elderly shoppers, who asked to remain anonymous, said they have been wearing their masks the whole time.
One of them said: “I never stopped wearing it and I think it’s so important we continue to wear them, especially with the cases rising again.”
The pair also shared their opinions on those who don’t wear them.
They said: “It’s completely up to them what they do, as long as we’re doing the right thing we don’t care.”
Face masks are said to reduce the risk of spreading the disease and to help protect others.
One shop owner in the shopping centre said it was “barking mad” the government stopped people wearing them in the first place.
“It wouldn’t have hurt to have just kept masking wearing going throughout,” she said.
“There’s a lot of cavalier attitudes really, and there’s very little social distancing now.
“Prior to it being compulsory again, more people came into my shop with a mask on, but now I feel there is barely anyone wearing them.”