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‘Don’t make us ask, wear a mask’: Town to hand out free face coverings to shoppers

PUBLISHED: 08:52 23 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:52 23 July 2020

The entrance to Lowestoft's historic High Street. Picture: Mick Howes

The entrance to Lowestoft's historic High Street. Picture: Mick Howes

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‘Don’t make us ask, wear a mask’.

Annatar gift shop on London Road North, Lowestoft has new washable face masks for sale in store. Picture: Annatar LowestoftAnnatar gift shop on London Road North, Lowestoft has new washable face masks for sale in store. Picture: Annatar Lowestoft

That is the message being sent to shoppers as Lowestoft Town Council and Lowestoft Vision combine to support safe shopping in the town.

With new regulations on masks in shops coming into force on Friday, July 24, it means shoppers will need to wear a face covering when visiting stores and supermarkets.

Annatar gift shop on London Road North, Lowestoft has new washable face masks for sale in store. Picture: Annatar LowestoftAnnatar gift shop on London Road North, Lowestoft has new washable face masks for sale in store. Picture: Annatar Lowestoft

Lowestoft Vision - the town’s business improvement district (BID) which is managed by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce – and the town council is supporting the new rules as they call on the public to adhere to the regulations to “make the town a safe place to shop.”

A Lowestoft Town Council spokesman said: “The town council and Lowestoft Vision are supporting the mandatory rules coming into force on Friday, July 24 where all shoppers will need to cover their faces to enter the wonderful range of shops we have in Kirkley, London Road North and the historic High Street.

Matthew Goddard, Managing Director of Picture Studios in Lowestoft and Norwich. Picture: Picture StudiosMatthew Goddard, Managing Director of Picture Studios in Lowestoft and Norwich. Picture: Picture Studios

“With a clear message from the retailers of ‘Don’t make us ask, wear a mask’ we can all make the town a safe and pleasant place to shop.”

In support of this, free disposable face masks will be offered to shoppers from 10am on Friday morning on London Road North – between the Marina Theatre and the Britten Centre.

These disposable face masks, which have been kindly supplied by Scooterpac of Lowestoft, will be offered subject to availability.

Annatar gift shop in Lowestoft welcomed customers back into the London Road North store in June.

And with the new face covering rules coming into force on Friday, they have new washable face masks on sale in store complete with the Annatar logo.

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Matt Wade, co-owner of Annatar Lowestoft, said: “Most of our customers have already been wearing the masks anyway.

“They are aware of the sanitiser stations around the shop and the social distancing.

“We have been as busy as we were before lockdown and for this time of year we are where we should be.”

Matthew Goddard, managing director of Picture Studios in London Road North, Lowestoft, said: “As a business we had to make many changes to reopen again in the middle of June after being temporarily closed during lockdown.

“Our Picture Studios team have taken great care to follow all government guidance and even put in place extra processes to ensure our customers and team are as protected as possible.

“With masks in shops being made compulsory from Friday, it has just cemented something we already welcomed as all our staff have a supply of masks with disposable ones also being made available to our customers if they request them.

“A number of customers that have already visited us have come in wearing masks and this has been welcomed by us.

“We hope we won’t be put in the position to have to turn anyone away that isn’t wearing a mask whilst in the public area, but if someone is unwilling to follow the rules we will be unable to serve them as the safety of our other customers and team is paramount.

“Since our return after lockdown we have also changed our appointment times to not coincide with each other.

“We have left a free space between photo shoots and viewings to allow enough time to clean and disinfect all surfaces.

“We will of course not expect anyone to be wearing masks within their photo shoot as this takes place within a private room and our photographer is able to stay at a safe distance.

“However PPE has been a great addition to some of our photo shoots with key workers wanting to capture this time in their lives that will form part of history.”


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