On the streets of Belfast and Londonderry, face mask wearers are very much in the minority.
Coverings have been compulsory on public transport since last week, but it seems that when most people step off buses or trains, the mask slips.
However, they could become a more familiar sight now that Health Minister Robin Swann and Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride want to see them become mandatory in shops, bringing us into line with England and Scotland.
Those who did have their faces covered on the streets of the two cities on Wednesday afternoon were supportive of the move, including Monica Roberts (49) from Loughinisland.
"It's each to their own, but we need to start thinking about what the Government is saying," she said.
"I was quite dubious about masks at the start, but because I have medical issues I felt I shouldn't put myself at risk.
"I've got into the habit of putting on a mask when I go out because I don't want to be complacent about the coronavirus in case it comes back again in the winter.
"If everyone wore one it would give me reassurance that we're all in the same boat and have to look after each other."
Belfast student Margaret Poore (22) said she wore a mask to protect those around her and felt it was a small gesture.
"I feel that it's a way to be responsible in public. I'm not angry about the numbers wearing masks right now because Northern Ireland's infection rate isn't big, but if that changes, which it might, my opinion might change on people's unwillingness to don a mask," she said.
Sisters Pat McGivern (73) and Eilish Thornhill (67) from west Belfast were both wearing masks because of medical conditions.
"It really annoys me that more people aren't wearing them and I feel like telling them to wise up," Pat said.
"It would be great if it became the law here that everyone has to wear one."
Eilish added: "I wear a mask in shops and on the bus, but I take it off when I'm out in the open air. I feel that more older people than young people are wearing them."
Linda McAuley and her husband Colin, who were staying overnight in Derry, had conflicting opinions.
Linda said: "I wear a mask constantly when I am inside shops and I think it should be compulsory for everyone. I am quite shocked at how few people are wearing face masks."
But Colin added: "I find masks very uncomfortable, so I don't wear one. Experts were telling us six weeks ago it didn't matter if you wore them or not. Now they are telling us to wear them.
"If they did become compulsory to wear them inside shops, I would wear them, but it would make me go to shops less." Peter O'Donovan (65) from Bangor was confused by the mixed messages from politicians and health officials.
"I had to wear a mask when I was in hospital recently for an operation and found it very uncomfortable. If I have to wear one in shops, I'll do it, but I'm not convinced that it has much effect," he said.
Derry man Frankie McMenamin supported making the wearing of masks compulsory.
"I don't think Covid-19 is over and it is going to hit us harder in the wintertime. There are times when I don't wear the mask if I am outside, but I always wear it inside shops," he said.
Michael Mairs agreed: "I wear my mask all the time when I am not at home. I don't understand why so few people are wearing them. There has been plenty of information now about why people should be wearing them."
Belfast Telegraph readers have voted in favour of the wearing of face coverings in shops in Northern Ireland. Digital readers took part in our online poll on face masks and were asked if they would be wearing them for a trip to the shops. As of 6pm yesterday just over 9,000 votes were cast, with 57% saying they would wear a mask in shops while 43% said they would not.