Covid Sheffield: Meadowhall gives update on Christmas safety measures as health expert praises mask-wearing
Shoppers at Meadowhall are complying well with the new face mask rules, brought back to combat the Omicron Covid variant, says a top health professional.
Since last Tuesday, face coverings have become mandatory again in shops and on public transport, among other areas, to help prevent the spread of the Omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa.
Kevin Smith, a public health consultant working for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the North East and Yorkshire, said he was impressed with how people were sticking to the new rules at Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield when he visited on Saturday.
Meadowhall Christmas 2021: Santa Express Train and other festive activities unveiled
“In Meadowhall. Ninety-nine per cent compliance with face coverings – very different to recent weeks. South Yorkshire people responding to the call,” he tweeted.
What is Meadowhall doing to enforce mandatory mask wearing?
A spokesperson for Meadowhall said: “In line with the latest Government guidance, shoppers are now required to wear a face covering in our centre and our stores. We’re working hard to make Christmas feel as normal as possible while also keeping everybody safe, and have been really pleased to see visitors following the latest guidance.
“We continue to have enhanced cleaning regimes in place and we’re encouraging everyone to check our website before setting off to get the latest information.”
Meadowhall added that its stores, bars, restaurants and leisure venues/cinema are all open as usual, and its festive activities such as our Santa Express train are operating as planned.
Asked how it is enforcing the new rules on mask-wearing, bosses at the centre said they understand some people may be exempt but asked visitors to be patient with store staff if asked to cover up as workers are only ‘doing their best to help keep everyone safe’.
What happens if you forget your mask at Meadowhall?
They added that they are continue to remind shoppers to wear face coverings, with messages on Meadowhall’s website and social media channels, signs at entrances and around the centre, and announcements in the malls.
Shoppers who forget to bring a face mask are invited to buy one there for a minimum donation of 20p, which will go to the centre’s Christmas charity partner Bluebell Wood.
A spokesperson for Meadowhall added that it had also increased the number of safety marshals at the main entrances to the centre, helping to remind visitors to wear a face covering.