THE vast majority of shoppers in supermarkets in Bournemouth were seen to be complying with the new rule of mandatory face masks.

As of Friday, it was compulsory to wear a face covering in shopping centres, banks, takeaway outlets, sandwich shops and supermarkets.

The government has brought in new laws which could see people who flout the rules get slapped with a fine, however, in Dorset this measure will be used as a last resort by police.

Nearly all customers in Asda in St Pauls Road were wearing a face mask, while a staff member on the door was challenging people who weren’t.

A one-way system was also in place which was being adhered to, ensuring people were able to socially distance.

Shopper Laurence Wiid, 58, said: “There’s a lot of debate about whether it works or it doesn’t.

“For me, why take that chance?

“I saw one guy with his mask down by his neck, but they’ve all been good.”

Meanwhile, Jane Frefle, 55, said: “I get hot because of the masks but I have no problem wearing one because it helps.

“I didn’t see anyone in the shop not wearing one.”

Both Asda and Tesco in the Square had signs on the entrance reminding people to wear a mask.

Similarly to Asda, the overwhelming majority of customers in Tesco were wearing face masks with a few exceptions.

Although wearing a mask, Caroline Gobey, 57, questioned why it has only just become compulsory.

Ms Gobey said: “I hate it, I think it’s ridiculous.

“We’ve gone all this time without having to wear one so why now?

“I wear one because I know there will be someone who gets confrontational and I don’t want to get into it because I haven’t got the time and I’ll end up being rude.”

When asked if she agrees with the law, Anita Marie said: “I'm happy to wear a mask to protect others and hope others will do the same for me. But I wish we had started doing this from the beginning.”

Sarah Jones also questioned why the law had only just come in.

Ms Jones said: “To be honest, is this not like closing the door after the horse has bolted?

“I wear glasses and they steam up and make me feel claustrophobic, but will wear one whilst shopping.

“I still don’t understand why people are wearing them whilst driving and walking down an empty street.”