Anyone in the Portsmouth / Southampton area, or adjoining areas interested in getting together to form a group?
Re the Telegram group, I meant to say that you don't have to be a smartphone user to take part. Telegram can be installed on a PC, or you can simply use the web interface https://web.telegram.org/
Following up on the Asda, Totton story above from Theeagle, I finally managed to visit the store today at around 0830, and can report no problems. No-one on the door, no sign of "Covid Marshals", nothing said or asked, though as far as I could see every single person, customer and staff, apart from me was muzzled up to their eyeballs, so a depressing experience. I especially feel for the staff, many of whom I'm sure are doing it under duress and for lengthy shifts.
Hopefully this means the problems at this store for maskless shoppers have gone away, but probably still one to keep under review, so please continue to post your experiences if you shop there.
Hi All, sorry to join the party late. I live at the bottom of Hayling Island, but I'd happily try to meet up with like-minded others to discuss stories, anecdotes, advice, or generally get things off one's chest :-) Preferably over a pint.
Things down on Hayling were pretty relaxed, actually, until mid September when Dumb and Dumber cranked up Project Fear to 11, with hand-drawn graphs and innumerate ramblings.
Aggressive signs started appearing everywhere:
The local bike repair shop: "Wearing a mask is not a choice, it's the law!" (carefully avoiding exemptions).
Hairdressers: "No mask. No entry. No exceptions." (actually illegal!).
Butchers: "If you cannot wear a mask, please ring a bell and someone will serve you outside." (actually, that's discrimination).
Our pubs are still going, but trade is well down - I don't see how they can survive much longer. I guess I am part of this issue, as an avid pub goer pre March, I now only pop in once/month on average ... I just can't stand wanky Covid-19 rules.
A very popular pub called The Inn on the Beach has a sign (or had one last week anyway) outside: "Now welcoming walk-ins." Since when the bleeding heck did the notion of walking into a pub for an ad-hoc drink become an advertisable perk? Like "Now featuring color television." on 70s motel signs.
Anyway, I hope everyone's doing well - my sanity is shot, most days. Lockdown sceptics, Simon Dolan, Ivor Cummings (I love his soothing voice!), Lord Sumption, Peter Hitchens, etc ... are keeping me sane!
Take care and happy to chat anytime.
Thanks for that info Sean, really useful.
Keep the experiences / recommendations coming in folks, it really helps.
I'm particularly interested in what McDonalds are up to if anyone's visited them recently. I'm currently out of area but have seen two branches with "No Mask No Entry" signs up - they did not appear to be official signs, and have reported to McDonalds UK on Twitter.
Also heard anecdotally of a branch in Southampton refusing service to children not wearing masks.
I'm getting the feeling with McDonalds, local managers are being allowed to do their own thing at the moment.
Took a while to find, but the link to the discussion on Asda is below:
The worst thing about your experience was that you were harrassed *inside* the store, at the checkout. I mean, what is the point since you were presumably on the point of leaving.
Will not have a chance to visit Asda, Totton for a few weeks as out of area, but if anyone else can visit the store and report back that would be great, just to check the message has got through and they don't revert to harrassment.
Had a bad experience in ASDA Totton recently, but complained to customer services and they dealt with it. Been in since then, and had no problems. They may have someone on the door offering out muzzles, but just say you are exempt and they won't bother you. Have a look in the activism page to see the emails sent them and their reply
Thanks for update Mark. I will try and make a Bournemouth protest as that is not too far for me.