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'Are you sure she didn't mean Wetherspoons?' King's Lynn reacts to Julie Hartley-Brewer's Waterstone's face mask snub

Yesterday marked the UK's "Freedom Day" as mask restrictions were lifted for shops and events.

Last week, radio host Julie Hartley-Brewer sparked a Twitter debate after tweeting: ""I make a point of buying books at my local Waterstones rather than ordering on Amazon because I want bookstores to thrive, but if I go into your store and a member of staff asks me to wear a mask, you will lose my business forever."

The tweet came as a reply to a Waterstones post that stated: "Following the lift of restrictions on 19 July across England, we will observe new government guidance.

"Given our enclosed browsing environment, we encourage our customers to wear face masks and observe social distancing, respecting the safety of staff and fellow book lovers."

Waterstones King's Lynn (49348310)
Waterstones King's Lynn (49348310)

The Lynn News spoke to Waterstones in Lynn yesterday, with employee Tim Callaghan saying: "We wear a mask out of choice. We certainly wouldn't tell people not to wear one in our store that is up to them, everyone is welcome and we can't tell people to put one on. We couldn't before."

Mary Jean Hayter said: "To say she will not wear a mask is selfish and inconsiderate. I certainly will continue to wear a mask whatever shop I will go into. Waterstones are not only protecting their own staff but the general public too."

Alison Hurn said: "I wouldn't shop there either if I was asked to wear a mask after the 19th July. It's MY choice to decide what I want to do and I choose no mask."

Rick Douglas said: "I would be far more likely to shop there if they insist on masks."

George Salt said: "Not sure she's much of a reader, are you sure she didn't mean Wetherspoons?"

The Lynn High Street opened yesterday with many shops still asking customers to politely wear masks if they can.

McDonald's, Waterstones,Deck of Cards and many others have staff who still wear masks despite the change in restrictions.

Some customers were wearing masks and others had decided to forgo a face covering.

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