But with the Delta Covid-variant spreading rapidly and cases still on the rise, many indoor public places will still be enforcing rules like wearing a mask, even if it is not a legal requirement, after the Government said it would still be advised in all enclosed spaces.
City region mayor, Dan Jarvis has announced that wearing a face covering will still be compulsory in Sheffield’s bus stations after Monday, when all Covid restrictions are set to lift.It wiIt
Mr Jarvis says face masks will remain mandatory in bus stations and interchanges across the region where the Mayoral Combined Authority operates.
He said: “With Covid case numbers continuing to rise rapidly, now is not the time to remove the legal requirement to wear face masks on public transport and in enclosed public spaces.
“This why from Monday, at the bus stations and interchanges we control in South Yorkshire, wearing face coverings will continue to be mandatory.
“We wear masks to protect each other from the virus, and the mixed messages from this government risks making public transport a no-go area for the vulnerable and young people who haven’t yet had both vaccinations.”
He is also calling for face masks to be mandatory on all public transport, although operators in South Yorkshire say they are still waiting on official guidance for this.
In the meantime, signs ordering face masks are being taken down at bus and tram stops and instead replaced with signs ‘strongly recommending’ people wear one.
A Sheffield City Region spokesperson said: “It would be up to individual operators to continue to mandate the wearing of face coverings as a condition of carriage.
“We would strongly encourage people to continue to wear them on public transport and at interchanges, to keep each other safe as Covid cases rise rapidly.”
The rules around wearing masks will stay in place at the city’s hospitals in a bid to keep the most vulnerable people safe.
After Freedom Day, businesses will be in charge of making their own decisions around wearing face coverings, rather than the Government.
A number of retailers have already confirmed they will be ‘encouraging’ people to wear them in their stores (unless exempt) and will be installing signs to say it is ‘recommended’ by the Government.
So far, these supermarkets have said they will be doing so:
Tesco Sainsbury's Lidl Aldi Waitrose Asda
A number of high street stores have also said they will be recommending wearing masks as per Government guidelines. These include:
Waterstones Primark H&M Beaverbrooks Wilko B&Q Screwfix Argos Boots IKEA – which is recommending people wear one but also says it recognises that it is a “personal choice”.
Yesterday, a grocery shop in Crookes announced staff will still ask customers to wear masks in their store after July 19.
The Unwrapped Zero Waste Shop, on Crookes high street, is asking customers to continue wearing face masks after ‘Freedom Day’, as well as limiting how many people are allowed in at one time.
In a post on the shop’s Facebook page, the team wrote: “We've thought about what this means for us at Unwrapped and we've decided to ask customers to continue to wear a mask wherever possible.
“Staff will also continue to wear masks and we will still limit numbers of people in the shop for the time being...”
The Famous Sheffield Shop has also asked that people continue to wear a mask for a “little while longer” and is offering free masks at the entrance, in a bid to avoid any closures due to a positive test.
Sport and leisure
Sheffield City Trust, which runs a number of sport and entertainment venues, has said wearing a mask in communal areas at all of its venues will be ‘encouraged’.
This includes: Ponds Forge, Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield Arena, Concord Sports Centre, Heeley Pool and Gym, Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Springs Leisure Centre, Westfield Sports Centre and Ice Sheffield.
However, at the English Institute for Sport Sheffield (EIS), wearing a face covering will remain mandatory until August 23, in order to support TeamGB Olympic and Paralympic athletes who are training there.
Eating and drinking
The Ridgeway Arms in Mosborough – part of the Greene King group – is also accepting that wearing a mask is a personal choice, but will be encouraging people to do so if they are able, as will many other pubs in the Greene King family.
Health and beauty
It will be at the discretion of the salon whether face coverings are required or not. LA Beauty and Spa in Aston has said staff will still be wearing masks and visitors are encouraged to wearthem in communal areas, but it will be up to each individual what they want to do.
Monroe’s Unisex Salon on Barnsley Road is asking people to continue wearing their masks as it is a “close contact” business.
Revive Hair and Beauty in Stannington has said people are more than welcome to choose whether or not they want to wear a mask, but that it may have to request one is worn if a customer is particularly vulnerable or has requested this.
At Karen Vickers Beauty Therapy in Bradway, nothing is set to change when Covid restrictions are lifted on Monday, meaning all clients will still be required to wear a mask and adhere to social distancing.