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Covid-19: Masks - Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:32 pm on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of The Earl of Clancarty The Earl of Clancarty Crossbench 4:32 pm, 11th June 2020

I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, on his persistent campaign, and only wish that the Government had acted earlier. We knew in April, from Jeremy Howard’s research, of the significant effect that mandatory face masks had in Austria and Czech Republic. A new German study finds that masks reduced reported infections there by 40%. Lives will still be saved in the UK if mandatory mask wearing is extended to other public spaces. That is particularly important in those areas of the country where there is still a high rate of infection, and local authorities should be involved.

Will the Government ensure that masks are worn on station platforms and concourses, by all station staff, as well as those on trains, and by the British Transport Police, who should be seen to set an example? Will this measure be extended to shops, where close contact with people is often unavoidable, as well as to restaurants and pubs providing takeaways? Current guidance for restaurant staff does not recommend face masks for Covid-19. Will that be urgently reviewed?