Will You Have To Wear A Mask In Public To Help Defeat COVID-19?

21 April 2020, 11:21

Will wearing a mask in public become the new normal?
Will wearing a mask in public become the new normal? Picture: Getty Images

Protective masks are already compulsory to wear in public in many countries, so will the UK follow suit, and will this rule take PPE away from NHS frontline workers?

The UK government is currently assessing the usefulness in wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as other countries make it compulsory to wear a mask in public, and London major Sadiq Khan says the UK's Capital should follow suit.

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So, will it become mandatory to wear a mask in public during the pandemic lockdown, and after?

Countries including Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia as well as New York have already made it compulsory to wear masks in public, with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel saying masks should be worn on public transport and shops once lockdown has lifted.

There has been conflicting advice about wearing a mask, or face covering, with some, including Dr. Alex, stating they aren't beneficial in protecting against the virus, whilst other experts are stating their importance.

Dr David Nabarro, a senior British scientist with the World Health Organisation (WHO), recently said people would have to get accustomed to the "new reality" of wearing facial coverings in public.

However, WHO has also stated the importance of prioritising providing NHS staff and key workers with PPE first and foremost before the public, and unsurprisingly, there's a huge global demand for masks and other PPE right now.

UK In Fifth Week Of Coronavirus Lockdown
UK In Fifth Week Of Coronavirus Lockdown. Picture: Getty

So, even if the government rules masks are necessary either in London or nationwide, filling the supply needed to provide the whole population with PPE may not even be a possibility.

As lockdown is extended for another three weeks, the conversation has turned to when life may be returning to 'normal', as senior ministers talk of a set of 'tests' that must be passed before anything like schools can reopen.

Michael Gove refuted reports of a 'traffic light' exit strategy and instead said: "We've set some tests which need to be passed before we can think of easing restrictions in this lockdown."

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