In the ever-changing – and somewhat confused and confusing – world of Covid-19 regulations, we are now all obliged to wear a face covering in even more indoor settings, although the conspiracy theory anti-maskers would have us believe wearing a mask (to protect the health and wellbeing of others) is somehow an infringement of personal liberty.

Now I’m all for personal choice but when scientists tell me that if everyone wears a face covering in enclosed spaces, where social distancing is more difficult, it will help to mitigate the spread of a disease that has killed tens of thousands of people, I’ll listen to them.

I am fully behind and support Ian Ashworth, director of public health at Cheshire West and Chester Council, who said: “Unless you are exempt, it is so important people protect themselves and others by wearing a face covering, keeping a distance of two metres and regularly washing your hands.

“We want to prevent local lockdowns and protect frontline services who will need to deal with illness as a result of Covid-19.

“We really need people to support us by doing everything they can to help keep our families, friends and communities safe.”

And that’s the point. You may feel that having to wear a mask somehow runs counter to your libertarian sense of personal choice but by not wearing one, you may as well be walking round with a massive sign saying: ‘I am completely selfish and don’t care about you, your health or your family’s health’.

Hand-in-hand with the anti-maskers are the incredibly stupid anti-vaxxers and that’s not just my opinion. On Sunday, King’s College London published the results of its research that revealed only half the population (53 per cent) say they’d be certain or very likely to get a vaccine against coronavirus, with one in five (20 per cent) fairly likely, and one in six (16 per cent) saying they are unlikely to or definitely won’t.

But the percentage of people who say they won’t get a coronavirus jab increases among the people who believe face masks are bad for people’s health; who believe masks do not reduce the spread of Covid-19; and who think the government only wants people to wear them as a way of controlling the public (yes, there are people out there who really believe that.)

You can also add those who say too much fuss is being made about the pandemic, who say they do not find coronavirus stressful, and who say they’re not worried about lifting lockdown restrictions. Tell that to the families of the 64,000 ‘excess dead’.

Prof Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute at King’s College London, summed it up when he said: “Misperceptions about vaccines are among our most directly damaging beliefs, and they’re clearly influencing people’s intentions during the coronavirus crisis.

“While one in six in the UK say they are unlikely to or definitely won’t get a potential vaccine against Covid-19, this rises to around a third or more among certain groups, with a clear link to belief in conspiracy theories and mistrust of government, authority and science.”

I have a tip for the anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers – don’t get your information from right-wing, libertarian, conspiracy theory websites, Facebook or your mate down the pub.

Truth be told, I am a little more relaxed about anti-vaxxers’ own particular brand of idiocy.

This is why: A pandemic is a public health emergency that requires public health responses.

But it’s also a personal health emergency that requires a personal health response. The two responses don’t always marry up seamlessly.

So I am still being extremely careful (personal health) despite being told I can use public transport and go back to work (public health).

The public health response needs around 80 per cent of people to have the vaccine and I can absolutely guarantee you I will be at the head of the queue should one become available. That’s my personal health response.

If anti-vaxxers want to run the risk of catching a potentially fatal disease for the sake of their libertarian ideals, that’s up to them. But I am beginning to feel I’m a little bit under siege at the moment.

Thankfully, we seem to have been spared the much-feared and much-anticipated big Covid-19 second spike, but I was a little disturbed to see that the rate of coronavirus infection is on the rise in some parts of Cheshire.

The number of new weekly cases per 100,000 in Cheshire East (including Knutsford, Wilmslow and Middlewich) increased from 3.1, to 8.1 in the week up to August 3.

To put that figure in some kind of context, that infection rate is higher than in Wigan, which is currently subject to stricter lockdown.

And over the past couple of weeks, as well as having Greater Manchester on our doorstep under extra lockdown measures, now we also have Halton looking well dodgy. Halton’s infection rate has risen to an estimated 270 symptomatic cases per 100,000 residents – the third highest on the King’s College London’s Covid Symptom Study ‘watch list’ behind Blackburn with Darwen and Kirklees, and the highest in the Liverpool City Region. We are truly surrounded.

My advice: Avoid Scousers and Mancs, wear a mask, wash your hands and, as Sting once sang, don’t stand so close to me.