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Covid-19: Masks - Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 4:45 pm, 11th June 2020

My Lords, a speed dating debate such as this one at least ensures brevity. I congratulate noble Lords. There is a theme to the questions: our regret at another issue that exemplifies the Government being slow to act. Is this yet another policy announced without discussion with the devolved Administrations?

Two months ago, Labour backed the Mayor of London’s call for face masks on public transport to be compulsory. Two months ago, we raised the issue of bus drivers needing PPE, and asked whether buses should still run if there is not sufficient PPE. Does the Minister know the answers to these questions, and is he aware of the vulnerability and risk to bus drivers? We must wear masks on public transport from Monday, but who will enforce this policy, and who will help those who forget to bring their masks, forget to put them on, or cannot afford them? We need a comprehensive transport policy, to get our public transport moving, to protect staff and to protect passengers.