Boris Johnson says Britons SHOULD wear facemasks after lockdown

Boris Johnson says Britons SHOULD wear facemasks when the country comes out of lockdown so people can have ‘confidence’ about going back to work

  • Boris Johnson said that wearing facemasks will be part of lockdown exit strategy
  • He said face coverings will be ‘useful’ and give people ‘confidence’ when outside 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Boris Johnson today announced that wearing face masks will be part of the UK’s coronavirus lockdown exit strategy. 

The Prime Minister said the wearing of face coverings in public will be ‘useful’ in terms of stopping the spread of the disease. 

But he also said they would give workers ‘confidence’ that it is safe for them to venture out, use public transport and go back to their job. 

Speaking at the daily Downing Street coronavirus press conference, Mr Johnson said: ‘I think what, and I again I will defer to Chris and Patrick, but what I think SAGE is saying and what I certainly agree with is that as part of coming out of the lockdown I do think that face coverings will be useful both for epidemiological reasons but also for giving people confidence they can go back to work. 

‘You are going to be hearing more about that and that kind of thing next week.’

The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has been considering the evidence in recent weeks relating to the wearing of face masks.  

Numerous opposition politicians have recently been pushing Downing Street to change tack and recommend they be worn. 

Boris Johnson today said wearing face coverings will be part of the UK’s lockdown exit strategy

Sadiq Khan, the Labour Mayor of London had threatened earlier this week to ‘unilaterally’ order masks be worn in he capital if the Downing Street did not act. 

However, Mr Khan warned that he was willing to move before the UK government, telling ITV News: ‘If it’s the case that despite all our lobbying and the emerging scientific evidence the government doesn’t change its guidance, I may well decide unilaterally to instruct Londoners to do that.’ 

His intervention came after Nicola Sturgeon had already told Scots that face coverings should be worn in enclosed spaces where social distancing is hard to maintain. 

Michael Gove, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, had also revealed that the UK is in the process of stockpiling masks for commuters and shoppers to wear in public. 

But Number 10 said on Tuesday that a final decision in the issue was yet to be made after SAGE had presented its conclusions on the effectiveness of masks to ministers. 

Later on Tuesday, Professor Angela McLean, the deputy chief scientific adviser, said SAGE had recommended that there is ‘weak evidence of a small effect’ that wearing a face mask can prevent an infected person spreading the disease.  

She told the daily Downing Street press conference: ‘The answer is clear that the evidence is weak and the effect is small, and we have passed that on to our colleagues in Government with which to make a decision.’ 

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