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Bristol gives out free face masks to shoppers and public transport users

The scheme comes in response to a recent government decision to make masks mandatory in these venues

  • July 26, 2020 17:00
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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With the coronavirus crisis winding down across Europe, countries are charting their paths to how they can return back to normal as quickly as possible. Last week in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a number of changes to current policies and recommendations as well as the introduction of new measures that are meant to pave the way forward for the country – among them, the mandatory use of face masks on public transport and in shops.

Local governments at the forefront

Yet not everyone was ready to meet this new requirement. Not all citizens have access to masks and thus now everyone will be able to comply with the new law. That is why the Bristol City Council has announced that it will be handing out free protective equipment both to shoppers and to public transport users as part of its “Are you Covered?” campaign.

The City Council has made 80,000 masks available to citizens in need and is also supplying them to local food banks where there has been an upsurge of new requests from struggling families.

Furthermore, as part of their efforts to popularize the initiative and make the availability of free facemasks more widely known, the City Council is encouraging its citizens to post selfies of themselves wearing a facemask, with the #AreYouCovered? hashtag. Those who do so will also get a chance to win shopping vouchers worth some 100 pounds.

Speaking about the initiative, Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees stated that “I'm really pleased that shops and businesses are reopening however, Covid-19 is still very much with us. As we still have no cure or vaccine we must adapt to new safety measures. It’s important to wear a face covering in shops and on public transport so we continue to protect our community from the continued threat of Covid-19.

“Not everyone knows straight away that they have Covid-19, and some display few symptoms at all. Therefore the best thing we can do to make sure we don’t unknowingly pass on the infection, is to wear a mask, wash our hands regularly and act quickly to self-isolate and take a test if we think we are unwell.”

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