Shop assistants are urging visitors to the South Coast to wear masks.
The union representing retail employees (SDA) is pleading with Sydney shoppers to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into regional areas.
It follows union polling conducted by Essential, that reveals 23 per cent of people in NSW believed being forced to wear a mask infringed their personal freedom.
The union's NSW secretary Bernie Smith said a COVID-19 outbreak could devastate South Coast towns and other parts of NSW still recovering from bushfire.
Mr Smith said those wearing masks would protect workers and customers.
He also asked the public to treat retail workers with respect.
"The frontline workers that you see when you walk into a shop are just out there trying to do the best job they can," Mr Smith said.
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