Left Menu
Development News Edition

UK PM calls on people to wear face masks in shops

"I do think we need to be stricter in insisting people wear face coverings in confined spaces where they are meeting people they don't normally meet," he said last Friday. However, on Sunday, one of his senior ministers, UK Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, seemed to dismiss the notion of mandatory face coverings as he called on people to use them as “basic good manners”.

PTI | London | Updated: 13-07-2020 17:54 IST | Created: 13-07-2020 17:50 IST
UK PM calls on people to wear face masks in shops
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (File photo) Image Credit: ANI

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that he is looking into "enforcement" measures that may be required around face coverings in enclosed public spaces as he called on people to use them in shops in order to curb COVID-19 transmission. At present, it is mandatory to wear face masks or coverings only on public transport in most regions of the UK but there has been a growing debate around a wider mandatory approach as Britain gradually emerged from the coronavirus lockdown.

"I think people should be wearing (face masks) in shops. And, in terms of how we do that, whether we make it mandatory or not, we'll be looking at the guidance – we'll be seeing a little bit more in the next few days," he said, when asked about face coverings during a visit to ambulance staff in central London. "Throughout this crisis, people have shown amazing sensitivity towards other people and understanding of the needs to get the virus down by doing things cooperatively. Wearing masks is one of them... It's a mutual thing; people do see the value of it. We'll be looking in the next few days about exactly how – with what tools of enforcement – we think we want to make progress," he said.

Johnson had made similar remarks during a social media People's Prime Minister's Questions when he indicated plans for stricter enforcement of face coverings in public. "I do think we need to be stricter in insisting people wear face coverings in confined spaces where they are meeting people they don't normally meet," he said last Friday.

However, on Sunday, one of his senior ministers, UK Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, seemed to dismiss the notion of mandatory face coverings as he called on people to use them as "basic good manners". "I don't think mandatory, no, but I would encourage people to wear face masks when they are inside, in an environment where they are likely to be mixing with others and where the ventilation may not be as good as it might," said Gove.

It led the Opposition Labour Party, which says it will back any strict enforcement of face coverings to control the spread of coronavirus, to accuse the government of a lack of clarity of the issue. "People want to do the right thing but they want to know what the right thing is," said Labour's Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves.

Many leading scientists have called for a more compulsory approach to face coverings as a vital tool to prevent a feared second wave in the UK. Earlier this week, Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan had warned that the UK was lagging behind other countries in the mandatory use of face masks to prevent the rapid spread of coronavirus.

"The UK is way behind many countries in terms of wearing masks and clear policies and guidelines about mask-wearing for the public. The public has taken to handwashing and distancing but remain skeptical about face coverings," said Prof Venki, the President of the Royal Society. "Just treat it as another item of clothing that is part of the new normal and wear it whenever you cannot socially distance safely. It the right thing to do, and a small price to pay, to help keep infections down and the economy open in the pandemic," he said.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

How UK’s 'best prepared' healthcare system failed to gauge COVID-19

The UK is proud of their public health system and its unlike any other country as around 90 percent of British public supports the founding principles of National Health Service. But without accurate data being available to stakeholders in ...

Poor on IHR capacity progress in 2019, WHO says Cambodia tops COVID-19 response

Despite being in proximity to Hubei, the original epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia has reported just 226 confirmed cases and zero deaths. After seeing the data, WHO appreciated Cambodias healthcare information system but experts dou...

Loopholes in Healthcare Information System may have failed Singapore COVID-19 model

In the initial days of the COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore was in the limelight for its effective healthcare system and pandemic response plan. However, Singapore has now joined the list of the worst-hit nations and the situation is even worse...

Australia's COVID-19 response: Digital infrastructure of help but implementation remains a challenge

Australias ongoing plans to upgrade its health information system helped by the Digital Health Strategy seem even more practical due to the pandemic. But as evident during the pandemic, administrative lapses and the complex matrix of power ...

Videos

Latest News

Moody's upgrades Yes Bank to B3 following equity capital raising

Moodys Investors Service has upgraded Yes Banks long-term foreign-currency issuer rating to B3 from Caa1. It has also upgraded the banks long-term foreign and local currency bank deposit ratings to B3 from Caa1 and its foreign currency seni...

ANALYSIS-China's hog futures set to make debut, but faces big challenges

Chinas long-awaited live hog futures contract is almost ready, offering a vital hedging tool for the worlds largest pork industry, which has been roiled by an African swine fever outbreak that devastated herds and sent pork prices soaring.T...

DU exams: Barely a week to go, students grapple with multiple challenges

The situation is bad here due to floods. There is no electricity. How will I be able to take my exams says Rasuhan Kumar, a final-year student of Delhi Universitys Satyawati College on the phone from his home in Bihars Muzaffarpur. I could ...

Manufacturing facilities working at up to 70 pc capacities amid pandemic: Asian Paints

Asian Paints on Tuesday said its manufacturing facilities are working at up to 70 per cent capacities due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns. The company said its business has picked up progressively in tier 2, 3, 4 ...

Give Feedback