Cork business owner's in-store mask wearing policy labelled 'the right thing' by expert

Cork business owner's in-store mask wearing policy labelled 'the right thing' by expert
Joan Lucey , Robert McGillicuddy and Yvonne O’Connell putting together adult and children’s craft kits for online orders at Vibes and Scribes, Bridge Street, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

The chair of the Coronavirus Expert Advisory Group has said that local business woman Joan Lucey was doing “exactly the right thing” by asking her customers to wear masks upon reopening.

Ms Lucey who owns Vibes and Scribes Bookshop on Lavitt’s Quay received backlash on social media by a group of people who threatened to boycott her store.

After three months of being shut due to Covid-19, customers were invited to wear their own masks or to pick up a mask made available in store with donations going toward supporting the Sexual Violence Centre in Cork.

The store received a mountain of backlash with customers arguing that “nobody should be made to wear facemasks” and that it was an “absurd requirement”.

Ms Lucey appeared on Claire Byrne Live last night where she shared her experience and Dr Cillian de Gascun said that she did exactly the right thing.

“As an owner, not only is she trying to look after the members of the public who are coming into her shop but she also has to look after her staff so there’s a huge amount of pressure on her in that respect,” he said.

Mr de Gascun said that it is important to wear masks where practising social distancing measures proves difficult, such as in shops or on public transport.

He said that mask wearing stats were not great and may be “because we were slow to make that recommendation and we haven’t been making it for as long as we had been making the other recommendations”.

“It is really important now as we start to open up because when people were staying at home and there was very few people out circulating and people were physically distanced naturally, the masks weren’t a big component of that but now as people go out more often we’re going to by the very nature of what we’re doing bump into more people.

“We’ve also learned of the possibility of asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission so people who are on public transport or in shops where you can’t maintain social distancing really need to wear masks,” he warned.

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