Anxiety in Barnsley as a virus hotspot gets ready to open its doors

Living with the country’s third highest infection rate, many residents are wary of the easing of rules

The shops reopen in Barnsley on Monday and Richard Walker is worried. A retired bricklayer with a history of heart attacks, Walker left his house on Saturday for the first time in three months for a bit of fresh air but didn’t like what he saw.

“People ignore the government suggestions, the supermarkets are absolutely packed. People are not wearing masks and not keeping their distance,” he said. In January, his sister-in-law Beverley Walker died of Covid at the age of 57. “It was a big shock, totally unexpected. We just got a phone call. We still don’t know how she got it. It hit the family really hard.”

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