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Covid-19: Masks - Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:33 pm on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Kirkham Lord Kirkham Conservative 4:33 pm, 11th June 2020

My Lords, I grew up in a world where the only wearers of face masks were bank robbers, sexual deviants and the Lone Ranger, in a mining community where the underground workforce would have benefitted from wearing face masks, but did not, and paid the price. It seems now that, in many situations, masks will be mandatory, yet not long ago, we were informed by Public Health England that face masks were worse than useless outside of clinical settings. The subsequent volte-face, inconsistency across the devolved Administrations, and publicity given to more draconian recommendations by the World Health Organization are confusing and damaging to essential credibility and trust. Whatever the veracity of the mask concept, if we want the public to take our advice, then the message needs to be bold, clear and, above all, consistent until the pandemic is over. At that time, I trust that non-clinical masks will be worn only as a fashion accessory, and by those with unusual hobbies.