A RETIRED headteacher is encouraging others to cover up while outside to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Steve Hobbs printed thousands of posters as part of his one-man campaign to increase the use of face coverings while people carefully head out and about as lockdown eases.

The 70-year-old former head of Pinehurst Junior School began preparing the posters just before the government announced that wearing face coverings on public transport and when visiting hospitals would be compulsory from June 15.

He hopes to spread the word before non-essential shops begin reopening in just over a week’s time.

Steve said: “After I had a scary experience of supermarket shopping at the beginning of the lockdown, I became involved with Masks4All UK.

“The group has been formed by doctors who are fighting to stop the virus spreading further.

“ I decided to start a poster campaign because I don’t think many people are aware of the situation that they are putting themselves in when shopping or travelling on public transport.

“It can be worrying when you are in a small shop or confined space with other people and social distancing cannot always be enforced.

“But wearing a face covering when shopping or travelling will help stop a person who is unknowingly carrying the virus spreading it to others. So I believe that more people wearing them will help to lower the infection rate.

“Since starting the campaign, I have formed a social media group and already received 2,500 posters that were printed and donated by Interprint Swindon, Orchard Press Swindon, and Anytech Print Swindon.”

Steve is looking for volunteers to safely contact shops and businesses in order to distribute and get the posters displayed.

If you can help or are part of a business that would like a poster, contact Masks4All Swindon on Facebook.

Adver readers seemed supportive of the idea but wondered why the government had not made face coverings compulsory earlier.

Graeme Vee said: “This should have been from day one of lockdown and then maybe people would understand better.”

Jean Kelly said: “With So many London bus drivers losing their lives to Covid 19, this should have been brought in sooner.”

Wendie Beaney said: “Just be kind to the bus drivers if they turn you away if you don’t wear one, they are only following orders.”

Fiona Chalk said: “I don’t understand why this wasn’t brought in ages ago. It should apply to shops as well.”