A NEW law came into force last week making face masks and coverings in shops a legal requirement and Bridport shoppers have been "very happy to oblige".

The law making face masks compulsory in inside spaces came into force on July 24. Any shopper who does not wear a mask and does not fit into a specified criteria, such as children aged under 11 and people with a physical or mental disability, runs the risk of being fined up to £100 by police.

Bridport shop owners have been pleased with the way their customers have responded to the law change. Sue England, co-owner of clothing store Smith and Smith, said: "Customers have been sticking to the new rule and they have been really good about it. I don't think anyone particularly likes wearing them but if it is helping reduce the spread of the virus then people seem happy to do it.

"Before the masks were compulsory people seemed very nervous when they were shopping but they don't seem to be as nervous now everyone is wearing masks. Our staff are wearing masks too because although we don't have to, we think it is respectful to the customers and if we are expecting them to wear masks then we will as well."

Antonia Squire, owner of The Bookshop, said: "Our customers are great and we haven't had any problems. There are a couple of people who really don't like it and we have had lots of humourous conversations about glasses steaming up but the customers have been brilliant.

"The first couple of days people were a little uncertain and weren't sure of the rules around whether kids had to wear masks or not, but now they have gotten used to the rules and people are actually more relaxed now that everybody is wearing them."

Hannah Bourne, assistant manager of health food shop Naturalife Bridport, said: "We have had absolutely no problems at all. Our customers are generally very happy to oblige and most of them were already wearing masks as they are health conscious so they were well prepared for the law change."