A call for Sydney visitors to the Mid-North Coast to wear a mask before entering shops or stores has gained some traction.
The Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (SDA) called on Sydney visitors to "do the right thing and wear a mask" if they travel to regional areas in NSW.
The call comes on the back of SDA polling conducted by Essential, that reveals 23 per cent of people in NSW believe being forced to wear a mask is an infringement on their personal freedom.
Social media has highlighted a number of instances where shoppers have claimed their human rights have been violated if they are asked to wear a mask before entering stores.
Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce executive officer Mark Wilson says the chamber would support the call if it was ratified by NSW Health.
"It is an interesting idea," he said. "But we would be guided by NSW Health and the government in regards to rulings on circumstances including this one.
"We have 270 members across the chamber and they range in a variety of professions, from offices to frontline services and retail and health care professionals.
"The chamber is keen to see members and staff protected as much as possible and within reason.
"And, most importantly, the need to have their businesses to continue to function during the pandemic."
Mr Wilson said the chamber would rather have the wearing of face masks introduced than facing another shutdown.
Tumblegum Bakehouse spokesperson Mesha Jones says the business operates a total of three sites and has a total of around 40 team members.
"If you were to infect one employee, you would impact our entire team," she said.
"I completely agree with the calls for visitors from Sydney or other hotspots to wear a mask before entering a store.
"I don't know where they have been in the previous 14 days: it will help protect our employees."
Ms Jones said the community needed to remain vigilant but added that there was a minority of people not wanting to wear a mask.
In a tweet using the hastag #wearamask, the Australian Human Rights Commission says that if the law requires the wearing of a mask, it "is a legitimate balancing act of rights".
SDA NSW secretary, Bernie Smith said the union is asking anyone travelling from Sydney to a regional community to wear a mask before entering a shop - to protect not just retail workers, but the wider community.
"A COVID-19 outbreak has the potential to seriously devastate regional towns. Not to mention that regional communities are still recovering from the bushfire crisis.
"If you're a traveller from Sydney, particularly a hotspot area, please wear a mask before entering a shop in regional NSW.
"SDA polling shows the extent of the challenge in protecting the health of the general community against the irresponsibility of the few - with 1 in 5 people in NSW believing that being forced to wear a mask is an infringement on their personal rights."
NSW Health says people should wear a mask when physical distancing can't be guaranteed. And if you have symptoms and are seeking medical advice, or if you are in isolation in the same room as another person.
According to its website, wearing a face mask provides an additional physical barrier and helps to reduce community transmission.
COVID-19 is spread from close contact with an infected person and can be spread when a person coughs or sneezes.
A mask helps to contain droplets when a person coughs or sneezes, and reduces the likelihood of COVID-19 spreading. For more information go to their website.
Mr Smith said footage over the weekend of a woman refusing to wear a mask at Bunnings in Victoria shows the type of extreme abuse and disrespect being experienced too often by retail workers right across Australia.
"The bottom line is shoppers coming from the city to regional areas should be wearing masks before stepping into stores," he said.
"And remember that the frontline workers that you see when you walk into a shop are just out there trying to do the best job they can."
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