Survey suggests most people in Suffolk still wearing face masks

A pedestrian wearing a face mask Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Most of those surveyed said they still wore a face mask - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

More than 50% of people in Suffolk are continuing to wear face masks in indoor public places all the time, according to a new survey.

But more than half of those who haven’t say it is because it is no longer a mandatory requirement.

BMG Research has conducted a fourth survey across Suffolk since the pandemic began, ascertaining Covid-19 behaviour to help inform pandemic response messaging and campaigns.

The latest survey – carried out online between September 21 and October 3 incorporating 582 respondents – found that 55% of respondents were wearing masks indoors in public places all of the time, with a further 21% most of the time.

11% said they did it sometimes, 7% rarely and 5% never.

But for those who responded sometimes, rarely or never, the top reason why was because it is no longer a requirement, accounting for 58%.

It comes at a time when calls are ramping up on the Government to bring in Plan B measures which would require mandatory face masks in shops once again.

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Elsewhere, the survey found 50% were testing regularly – up from 43% at the last survey over 10 days in July, while 67% of people continued to socially distance around others outside their household all or most of the time.

When asked if they would take up the offer of a booster jab, 79% of respondents said they would.

However, more than a quarter of people (28%) said they did not feel comfortable in public places since restrictions have been lifted.

Public Health Suffolk director Stuart Keeble urged people to continue being responsible.

“These figures show yet again that when it comes to the fight against COVID-19, Suffolk gets it,” he said.

“There are many things we can all do to reduce the spread and it’s clear that every act or decision, however small, makes a difference.

“What’s important now, as we move into the winter, is that we think about what we can all do to keep Covid at bay so that it doesn’t ruin another Christmas. It’s worth it in the long run.”

Other questions asked found that 19% of respondents were working at home most or all of the time still, 13% occasionally and 68% not at all.