Over half of Lincoln residents say they will stop wearing a face mask as soon as they are no longer mandatory.
According to the government ‘roadmap’ mask wearing will be reviewed before the introduction of ‘step four’ meaning we could see mask-less shopping trips as soon as 21 June.
In a poll of 727 residents, 364 said they’ll be ditching the mask in all settings, while 224 said they plan to continue to wear one.
The remaining 139 people said they were unsure of what they will do.
Since June 2020 masks have been compulsory in an indoor setting, such as a supermarket or shop, unless you are exempt.
Lincoln resident Claire O’Rourke says she can’t wait to ditch her mask and get back to a bit of ‘normality’.
“I find it stressful and uncomfortable to wear but more than that, I love to communicate with people, even strangers,” she said.
“Masks seem to make us less friendly, probably because of the inability to be able to read body language as easily.”
However, many others feel masks shouldn’t be discarded too quickly to ensure our community stays as safe as possible.
Amy Arch said: “I think I will continue to wear a mask even after they are no longer mandatory.”
“It’s become a way of life for me and I think it will feel weird to not wear a mask in a shop or hospital.”
Amy said she would feel comfortable not wearing a mask once everyone has had a vaccine and the COVID cases are extremely low or zero.
Dr Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton, thinks masks are one of the coronavirus measures that should stay in place for the longest to protect public health.
He said, although they often present communication issues, they are a key factor in transmission control and should not be discarded too rapidly.
“In terms of things like social distancing and masks, I would hope they will carry on for a bit longer,” he said.
“We do need to put caution in place and wearing masks for longer than needed is a good thing not a bad thing.”
“We might see masks in place, particularly when going into a hospital, for a long period to come yet,” he added.
As we approach March 8, the next date where some measures including school closures will be lifted, it is an eager wait for many to see when their masks can be removed.
For the latest information on the Coronavirus guidelines, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.