Elderly ex-shielding Chesterfield woman urges retailers to do more to enforce mask wearing

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An elderly ex-shielding Chesterfield woman has slammed retailers for not doing enough to ensure customers wear masks while shopping.

Rosealine Bodenham, 80, from Clay Cross was ‘appalled’ when she went shopping for the first time since she started shielding in March at her local Tesco to find hoards of customers not wearing masks.

The government made it compulsory for shoppers to wear face coverings in shops, supermarkets, banks and post offices in England on July 24.

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Customers who do not wear a mask before entering such establishments and keep it on until they exit could be fined up to £100.

Rosealine Bodenham is appalled by the lack of people wearing masks in her local Tesco.Rosealine Bodenham is appalled by the lack of people wearing masks in her local Tesco.
Rosealine Bodenham is appalled by the lack of people wearing masks in her local Tesco.

While the law is to be enforced by police officers rather than retail staff, the 80-year-old pensioner is urging supermarket staff to do more to keep other shoppers safe.

Rosealine said she felt ‘unsafe’ doing her shopping at the store on Bridge Street, while being surrounded by customers who were not wearing a face covering – which went unchallenged by staff.

She said: "It made me feel uncomfortable.

"We're trying to cure this virus, not encourage it.

The 80-year-old said she felt 'unsafe' by so many people flouting the new law.The 80-year-old said she felt 'unsafe' by so many people flouting the new law.
The 80-year-old said she felt 'unsafe' by so many people flouting the new law.

"People should think of other people and not just themselves.”

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The former cleaner formally complained to the supermarket retailer but was dissatisfied with their response and feels they should be doing more to enforce the law.

Rosealine added: "It just feels like the law is not being enforced.

"To me, there should be somebody standing on the door, telling people they are not allowed in unless they wear a mask.

"If they don't have a mask then somebody should be on the door giving them out.”

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Some people are exempt from wearing face coverings such as children under the age of 11 and people with specific health conditions.

But the pensioner shared how it makes her feel knowing some people are just choosing not to wear a mask.

"It is selfish and spiteful because we're trying to get rid of the virus and there is no way we are going to get rid of it like this.

"I could see another lockdown happening because people aren't bothered.”

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The 80-year-old widow, who spent her birthday on her own during the lockdown in March, explained how self-isolating for months now feels like a waste of time, if people won’t follow the guidelines to control the virus.

"It has been horrible isolating by myself but you just have to carry on and do your best.

"There have been countless occasions that I have missed during lockdown and it just doesn't feel worth it, if people aren't playing their part too."

Rosealine shared how her first public outing by herself since she started shielding has made her frightened to leave the house again.

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"I would urge people to think of everybody else and not yourself, it impacts us all.”

Tesco has issued guidance to customers and put up signs at the front of their stores, explaining that shoppers in England will need to wear a face covering when visiting.

The retailer claims they will make packs of face coverings available for customers who have forgotten a mask which they can then purchase at the end of their shop.

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