The shops reopen in Barnsley on Monday and Richard Walker is worried. A retired bricklayer with a history of heart attacks, Walker left his house on Saturday for the first time in three months for a bit of fresh air but didn’t like what he saw.
“People ignore the government suggestions, the supermarkets are absolutely packed. People are not wearing masks and not keeping their distance,” he said. In January, his sister-in-law Beverley Walker died of Covid at the age of 57. “It was a big shock, totally unexpected. We just got a phone call. We still don’t know how she got it. It hit the family really hard.”
This experience is one of the reasons Walker is frustrated when people dodge the rules. “I get so angry with them,” he said. “But you can’t say anything because they’ll argue. They know they’re blatantly disregarding the rules.”
These people are a small minority though. Almost everyone out in the bitter cold in Barnsley town centre appeared to be wearing masks and adhering to social distancing rules.