West Dorset shop owners have reacted to the recent news that members of the public will have to wear masks in shops from next week.

Starting from July 24, shoppers will have to wear masks inside of shops to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Those who fail to comply with the new ruling could be fined up to £100.

Sam Payne, owner of Alleyways Antiques Centre in Bridport, said: “If the rule had been made before we reopened, I'd have said it was great because everyone who have done it but now I don't see how we police it.

“What happens if people try to come into the shop and they're not wearing a mask, do we have to tell them not to come in?

“It's one of those things that we just have to get on with and adapt, but whether it's a good idea or not, I have no idea yet.

“I think they should have made the rule sooner, it will make it harder for people to getting accustomed to it having been going back to shops for a month already.”

Richard Barker, owner of Cilla and Camilla, which has four stores locally, said: “We're mostly just pleased to have some clarity, whilst there was indecision it was confusing.

“We have found that most of our customers are very cooperative with following the social distance and sanitising measures so I don't think we'll have much problem enforcing the rule.

“If anyone attempts to come in without a mask we will have single-use disposable masks which we will encourage them to wear.

“We would have preferred clarity sooner, it would have been easier if we had all the guidelines given to us at once.”

Toni Clark, owner of Puddleduck, a toy shop in Lyme Regis, said: “I believe the new ruling is a good thing, so long as everybody follows the rules.

“I think it could make people more confident but as a children's store I think it could put people off coming inside. The children may find it intimidating or frightening.

"The rule should've been in place from day one when they announced the rest of the guidelines, but it's done now so we have to get on with it.”