Covid-19: Transport

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:46 pm on 12th May 2020.

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Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Secretary of State for Transport 2:46 pm, 12th May 2020

I am grateful to the Chair of the Select Committee for giving me an opportunity to clarify two things. First, we are not advising that medical-level PPE be used—that would go completely against Public Health England advice; rather we are advising that people make their own PPE at home, using the information on the gov.uk website, which shows how to make it from an old T-shirt or to sew one. The reason for that is that it is critical, from a medical point of view, that we do not compete with medical applications for PPE. People should make their own PPE, which in this case means a face covering rather than a mask.

Secondly, on social distancing, it is of course true that there will be times when people cannot maintain 2 metres, such as when walking past somebody. The Government are doing a number of different things. The advice we are publishing today explains that if people are not face to face but are instead side by side, the risk factors are different. We are working with app companies—including Google, Microsoft and the British companies Citymapper and Trainline—to work on crush data, which would be published to enable people to see where the busiest parts of the network are and to actively try to avoid that. All those steps are in train.