Shops report a surge in face masks

INTEREST in face masks has been on the rise since the border rules were relaxed at the start of the month.

Co-op Locale Arcade trainee manager Georgia Harvey with face masks. (29787458)
Co-op Locale Arcade trainee manager Georgia Harvey with face masks. (29787458)

Smith Street Co-op Pharmacy Locale dispenser Jess Le Page said people want them in case they need them.

‘It seems the locals are asking for them more than visitors,’ she said.

Guernsey Co-op pharmacy staff have been double vaccinated as a matter of priority and are asked to conduct lateral flow self-tests twice a week before work.

‘We have actually had a bit of a shortage of the lateral flows as lots of people have come in asking for them,’ said pharmacist Julie Farnham.

Guernsey’s mandatory mask policy ended on 13 May, but islanders are still required to wear them when travelling from the harbour or airport to their isolation destination.

Arcade Co-op Pharmacy Locale trainee manager Georgia Harvey said: ‘There has definitely been an surge in people coming in to buy masks and hand gel.’

During the last two lockdowns, Co-op pharmacies introduced mandatory face coverings for staff before the States of Guernsey did.

‘It’s the Co-op’s decision when precautions are implemented,’ said Miss Harvey. ‘I stopped putting hand sanitiser in my bag three months ago but I have just started again.’

Staff experiencing Covid symptoms are asked to stay at home until receiving a negative test results.

Pharmacy staff were able to assess demand from locals and visitors depending on whether they quote their Co-op share number at the till.

‘It’s a good way of figuring out which customers are local and which are visiting,’ Miss Harvey said.

‘Most non-locals won’t know what a Co-op share number is, so it’s clear that non-locals still want masks.

‘I am worried for the staff more than anything.

‘We have a few staff who suffer with asthma. If it became mandatory for staff to wear masks, I would want customers to wear them too.’

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