COVID-19: Face masks should become a ‘personal choice’ – but some medical experts may continue to wear them | UK News
Wearing a face mask should become a “personal choice” – but some medical experts say they will continue to wear it in crowded environments.
NHS England Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said he “may choose” to continue wearing a face cover “in a crowded indoor environment”.
Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), echoed this message, while the British Medical Association has pleaded with the government to maintain some of the measures beyond any reopening, including the use of masks in areas such as shops.
Meanwhile, the Unite union, which represents tens of thousands of public transport workers, has warned that masks should remain mandatory on public transport.
But speaking to Sky News on Monday, Health Minister Helen Whately said she “looks forward to not having to wear a mask” when restrictions allow.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to reveal next steps on face coverings, working from home and the meter plus rule in a Downing Street press conference 17 hours.
Ms Whately said the country was “on track” to move to the fourth stage of the government’s roadmap on July 19 and that from that point on people will be urged to “make good judgment. meaning ”on issues such as wearing face masks.
“We’re going to ask a lot more of people to take personal responsibility for such choices,” she told Sky News.
“I know, like many others, I look forward to not having to wear a mask, but I will be careful and try to make good judgments and follow the advice on this matter.
“I can’t anticipate the details of what will be said later today, but overall what I can say is that we are going to move a lot more to a hinting approach. but you take personal responsibility, you make a common sense judgment about what is the right thing to do to protect yourself and others. “
His comments came after Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday that measures such as wearing face coverings will become a matter of “personal choice” after July 19.
Newspaper articles over the weekend suggest that mask wearing will become voluntary in all settings.
However, medical experts have expressed concern over plans to drop the restrictions, with senior medics calling for continued use of face masks and social distancing.
BMA board chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the BMA was not asking for the reopening to be delayed but that it wanted “targeted measures” to help prevent transmission of the virus.
These include face masks in public spaces such as shops and public transport, and better public messages about the importance of social distancing and ventilation.
Sage member Mr Semple told Sky News he may continue to wear a mask after July 19.
“I probably will in certain contexts, but you have to remember that wearing the mask is mainly used to stop transmission rather than acquisition, so it’s the people who have the symptoms, who should really stay at home, who are going to be the risk here, rather than the people walking around and being doubly vaccinated – they’re much less at risk, ”he said.
NHS England Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis has said things like wearing a mask will soon become a ‘common sense personal choice’.
“I could choose to wear a mask, as you heard from Calum (Semple), in a crowded indoor environment,” he told Sky News.
And Professor Devi Sridhar, chairman of global public health at the University of Edinburgh’s medical school and an adviser to the Scottish government, said face masks should always be worn indoors.
“If this prevents an increase in cases, people are getting sick, another lockdown and helps businesses stay open, doesn’t it make sense to keep face masks for indoor environments like shops and public transport,” until we have a better understanding of the vaccine’s effectiveness in stopping transmission? She said in a tweet.
I understand people don’t want to wear masks, but it’s a minor inconvenience that we know helps slow the spread of the coronavirus – and reassures people, especially the vulnerable.
You wouldn’t want your surgeon to take off his mask, would you?
– Steve Rotheram (@MetroMayorSteve) July 5, 2021
Liverpool City area Underground Mayor Steve Rotherham has suggested people should put up with the “minor inconvenience” of wearing the mask a little longer.
“I understand that people don’t want to wear masks, but this is a minor inconvenience which we know is helping to slow the spread of the coronavirus – and reassures people, especially the vulnerable,” he said. he stated in an article on social networks.
“You wouldn’t want your surgeon to take off his mask, would you?”