Will you continue wearing a face mask if the measure is scrapped?
Boris Johnson is understood to be preparing to update the nation this week on his plans for ‘freedom day’ unlocking on July 19.
England will move into a period without legal restrictions where the public will have to exercise “personal responsibility” including on face masks, the housing secretary has said.
Robert Jenrick told the BBC’s Andrew Marr people would “come to different conclusions” over masks, but he trusted people “to exercise good judgement”.
An expert advising the Government’s coronavirus response has said he will continue to wear a face mask “indefinitely” despite reports that there are plans to scrap the measure.
Boris Johnson is understood to be preparing to update the nation this week on his plans for “freedom day” unlocking on July 19, with multiple newspapers suggesting that he believes a host of domestic measures can end on his “terminus date”.
Professor Adam Finn, from the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said mask wearing is extremely valuable under certain circumstances and he does not plan to ditch his masks this month.
He told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme: “Well on a personal level I shall certainly be continuing to wear a mask if I’ve got any symptoms or if I’m in an enclosed space with lots of other people for a prolonged period of time, indefinitely in fact.”
Prof Finn explained: “I think we learned, as paediatricians, we learned that we can avoid massive problems with children getting sick in the winter by doing these kind of measures.
“We simply didn’t see the epidemics of respiratory viruses last winter that we’ve seen every year throughout my career.
“So I actually now completely understand it, whereas I was puzzled before when I saw Asian people on the Tube wearing masks in the pre-pandemic era.
“So I think mask wearing is obviously something we’ve learned is extremely valuable to do under certain circumstances. That doesn’t mean I’ll wear a mask all the time but it does mean I will some of the time.”
Pressed on whether he would “get rid” of his mask after July 19 if permitted to do so, Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick said on the same programme: “I will. I don’t particularly want to wear a mask. I don’t think a lot of people enjoy doing it.”
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, said he believed people would naturally be more cautious and may continue to wear face masks out of choice.
He told Andrew Marr on BBC One: “I think some people will choose to be more cautious. Some people may choose to wear face masks in particular circumstances, such as crowded environments, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Those habits to reduce infections are a good thing to keep.”
What are your views? Will you continue to wear a face mask when out and about or do you feel safe enough to ditch them altogether?
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