Covid-19 - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:49 pm on 15th July 2021.

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Photo of Lord Whitty Lord Whitty Labour 1:49 pm, 15th July 2021

My Lords, I return to the confusing advice on masks. In the early weeks of the pandemic, some of the worst levels of deaths occurred among transport workers. They were inevitably faced with potential infection for several hours a day. It was particularly true of bus drivers, including a very good friend and neighbour of mine who died from Covid a few months before his retirement. With the advent of compulsory mask-wearing on public transport, driver hospitalisation and deaths fell dramatically. With rising infections and more unpredictable variants, what on earth is the rationale for not making masks mandatory on public transport and in other situations where staff are dealing with an increasingly maskless public?