Donning a face covering did not deter shoppers from taking to the streets of Tayside and Fife on Friday.
It was the first day of compulsory coverings in shops in Scotland but despite some complaints about being uncomfortable, most were following the “better safe than sorry” mantra.
James and Sandy Douglas, 69-year-old twins from Crieff, were happy to comply with the new rules.
James said: “My nephew’s wife makes masks and we’re both St Johnstone fans, so they’re blue and white.
“I’m a bit surprised that they’ve taken so long to introduce them.
“It’s a bit late in the day but I’ve not got any problem with wearing them.”
Sandy said: “We knew this day was coming to make them mandatory, so we’ve tried them a few times.
“I haven’t seen a customer not wearing them today. You would feel aggrieved if people weren’t wearing them.”
Maggie Stewart, from Perth, also said she would be upset to see people not following the rules, adding: “I’m happy to do it for as long as it takes.
“I would rather wear a mask than have a tube stuck down my throat.”
There are exceptions to the rule, including health conditions and disabilities.
But one shopper in Dunfermline, who asked not to be named, was not keen to comply.
He said: “There are plenty around not wearing them, so I’ll probably only get one if they start enforcing it.
“It’s all a bit over the top, if you ask me.”
Others were more accepting, including Julie Mason, from Cowdenbeath, on her first visit to Dunfermline High Street since before the lockdown was introduced almost 15 weeks ago.
“We just need to do as much as we can to stay safe and reduce the risk, both to ourselves and to others, and wearing the mask is the sensible option,” she said.
“It can get uncomfortable after a time but it’s a small price to pay in the scheme of things.”
In Dundee, most were happy to cover their faces for an afternoon shopping.
Leanne Rhynd, 24, from Kirkton, was relieved to see people wearing coverings.
“I think the legislation is a good idea,” she said.
“I have had some masks in the house for a while and been wearing them anyway. People seem to be wearing their masks in the shops, so it’s all been fine.”
But for 35-year-old Linda Gibson, from Maryfield, trying on her wedding dress was a bittersweet moment as capacity was limited in the shop.
“I was in town for a wedding dress appointment, so I was wearing a mask throughout all that, which was interesting,” she said.
As Dundee’s Overgate shopping centre prepares to reopen fully on Monday, shops in neighbouring Angus were pleased to report that most of their customers were wearing coverings without a fuss.
Usman Saeed, store manager at Cheers Plus convenience store, on Grant Street, Arbroath, said: “We’ve started wearing masks all the time. It’s been about 50/50 with the customers so far.
“The ones coming in without a mask, we’ve been mentioning the new rules and they have said they will take one next time.
“Some don’t seem to have realised the rules change today. Overall, it has been going well.”
Cheryle Sexton – owner of Clemintine of Broughty Ferry, which has operated throughout the crisis – said her customers had been sticking to the face coverings rule.
She added: “Today, which is obviously the first day that it has been mandatory, our experiences have been pretty positive.
“The vast, vast majority of customers that are coming in are wearing their face coverings and there has not been any issues.
“People seem to understand the reasons behind it and they are happy to do it.”
Susan Rae – community manager of Shelter on Brook Street, Broughty Ferry – said staff were navigating complicated rules regarding charity shop donations.
The branch has been overwhelmed with donations, with all stock requiring to be quarantined for 72 hours.
She added: “Due to the volume of donations we’re having to limit people to possibly three bags each.
“We don’t take donations when the shop is open. We actually do it from 9am-10am and then 4pm-5pm. So they are not walking through while customers are in.
“We have a process in place and it is working; but we have to limit people.”
Matthew Marra, manager of Assai Records in Dundee, added: “It’s our first day back trading. We are delighted to be back. We had lots of happy faces waiting for us when we arrived today.
“Much of the experience is the same. We’ve obviously had to make changes based on the new rules but we’ve got guidance and all of our customers have been respectful.
“We’ve not had any problems with it at all.”
Carol Doig, manager at Take a Hike, High Street, Forfar, said: “It’s been going really well so far and everybody has been wearing a mask.
“All of our customers have been complying, so that is good.”
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