A TOWN in Herefordshire is concerned that too many people are not wearing face coverings in shops, with the council blaming conspiracy theorists who don't think coronavirus is in the community.

Since July 24, it has been compulsory for face coverings to be worn in shops, unless medically exempt.

But Kington Chamber of Trade chairman Emma Hancock raised concerns that people are willingly flouting the rules, saying some people just don't believe coronavirus will reach the north Herefordshire town.

"There is a concern in the town of people not wearing masks, in particularly in the supermarkets," she said at a full Kington Town Council meeting on Monday evening.

"If you're on Kington Chat [Facebook group] you'll see that it caused quite a a bit of concern, that's going to have an impact on confidence.

"I think it is having an impact on people not going out because there are a lot of people that are choosing not to wear one when they're not exempt."

Chairman Bob Widdowson questioned whether conspiracy theorists were among those refusing to don a mask.

In reply, Emma Hancock said: "Firstly they don't believe it [coronavirus] is going to come to Kington.

"Secondly, they think it's a conspiracy theory to de-cull the population, lots of interesting ideas around at the moment."

Councillor David Redmayne added: "It does horrify me that masks aren't worn, but the other thing I find vaguely alarming is the people wearing masks below their nose."

Latest figures from Public Health England show four cases were found in the Kington, Eardisley and Staunton areas in the seven days to January 6. This is the lowest number in the county.

People can be fined up to £6,400 for repeatedly not wearing a mask, the Government said.

The government website said police can issue fines of £200 for the first offence, but this can be reduced if paid with 14 days.

But repeat offenders will have their fines doubled at each offence, and after the first offence there will be no discount. The maximum fine for repeat offender is £6,400.