PLANS to scrap face coverings in the final step out of lockdown has sparked a fiery debate among Echo readers.

Nearly 600 people shared their views in response to our Facebook post alone, which asked whether readers plan to still wear a face mask even after July 19 – when final restrictions are set to be lifted.

In an Echo Twitter poll, 917 people voted with 59.7 per cent saying they would not wear a mask after July 19.

From the final step in the roadmap out of lockdown, originally expected to take place on June 21, there will be no legal requirements to wear face coverings.

However, face coverings will still be advised in hospitals, healthcare settings and in crowded enclosed public spaces and people have been urged to take personal responsibility.

Questions have also been raised about whether individual organisations will continue to enforce the rule.

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Christine Baxter says she will still continue to wear a face mask in shops while the virus remains “so infectious”.

Richard Walker added: “Yes I will. As we all know by now masks offer most protection for the people around us and do offer limited protection to the wearer.

“I will wear it because if I unknowingly had Covid I could pass it on to your grandparent, wife or child, and why would I want to do that to anyone.

“Yes it’s a little uncomfortable and inconvenient but its better than getting Covid or passing it on.”

Leigh town councillor Andrew Wilkins will continue to wear a mask on public transport and in crowded shops if needed.

Jean Hill continued: “Yes inside and in crowded areas as I have a lung condition so I’d be stupid not to.”

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On the other hand, Kerry Leahy will not be wearing a face mask after July 19.

She said: “Nope, I’ve been a mask wearer while we have had to be wearing them, but once it’s lifted I no longer will.

“Personal preference, and its very much each to their own, if people want to continue to wear them once that restriction is lifted then they are entitled to, but if people choose to go mask free that’s all good too.”

Sue Groves, added: “Definitely not, but I think anyone who does not have the vaccine for whatever reason should.”

David Goatley believes face masks “don’t make a lot of difference”. He continued: “With the vaccine preventing people getting seriously ill, I think it’s about time we didn’t need to wear them.”