RESIDENTS in Basingstoke have said they agree with face coverings becoming mandatory again on public transport and in shops and many have “never stopped” wearing them.

From today (November 30) face coverings have become mandatory again on public transport and shops in England in an effort to slow the spread of the Omicron Covid variant.

Residents in Basingstoke have welcomed the news, and many said they never stopped wearing a mask.

Irene Thurston said she “never stopped wearing” hers.

She said: “Totally agree have not stopped wearing mine cannot see why people have a problem with wearing them.

“If there are people who won’t wear them don’t let them on public transport or onto shops that would shake them up.”

Helen Smith, agreed.

She commented on Facebook: “I’m the same as most other people on here, I wear my mask all the time when in public and still sanitise thoroughly before going into a shop.

"Its a habit now and I don’t think I will be breaking it.”

Another Kerin Elizabeth Hewlett, said: “Never stopped wearing mine, glad that people have to start wearing them again, so we are all protected.”

Some residents questioned the new rules.

Kevin Crumpton said he has been fully jabbed and he would prefer “being without” a mask.

He said: “Well I have been fully jabbed now and if I’m told that I have to wear a face mask then fair enough I will not argue about it but I do prefer being without a face mask being back to normal again.”

Early evidence suggests Omicron has a higher re-infection risk. Scientists say it will take about three weeks before it is known how the variant impacts on the effectiveness of vaccines.

Boris Johnson said the new mask and testing measures would “buy us time in the face of this new variant”.

People arriving in the UK from abroad will now also have to take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.