Despite the Government making masks mandatory just on public transport, Waiheke store owners say they trust the community to continue to mask-up under level 2 restrictions.
RAW food market owner Richard Wilton says the majority of his customers wear masks and are careful to adhere to social distancing rules.
“I personally don’t like wearing a mask, but when I leave the island to go to our depot and produce markets I always wear a mask. I don’t want to be the one that brings it back to the island.”
Richard says he understands the need to make masks mandatory on public transport but says people are mature enough to make their own decisions about mask-wearing in different situations.
“I understand the change of rules in regards to public transport when you can’t necessarily social distance. But wandering around in a shop is a bit different and most people are mature enough to follow the rules and are aware of the consequences.”
Although Richard says the majority of his customers and staff wear a mask in RAW, he had to ask some shoppers to leave the store amid level 3 restrictions.
“There have been a few people who have flouted the rules in-store and they were asked to leave. I don’t want to go into it, but they weren’t respecting the personal space of staff or customers. Their attitude showed they knew what they were doing but didn’t care.”
Four Square owner Brian Gribble says some of his staff don’t wear a mask due to breathing issues, but most do.
“When it comes to people coming into the store, around half are wearing masks, it really depends on the day.” • Sophie Boladeras
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