YORK'S Little Apple bookshop has recruited the children's character Moomintroll to help encourage customers to wear a facemask.

'Freedom Day' on Monday may have come and gone - but Little Apple's Philippa Morris says many small shops and businesses are still worried about Covid spreading.

"Please spare a thought for shop workers," she tweeted, along with a photo of Moomintroll in a facemask surrounded by books in the shop.

"We come into contact with thousands of people per week. With small shops/businesses, if we get pinged or ill, there's often no Plan B. We self-isolate. We close. Or we get this guy to mind the fort - but he worries easily!"

Any why did she choose Moomintroll to give the facemask message?

Little Apple didn't want to upset or antagonise any customers, Philippa says - just gently ask them to wear a facemask in the shop if they can. "We have lots of Moomintroll books and things. And he's a very thoughtful, very caring kind of little creature!"