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 Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 1:49 pm, 15th July 2021

I thank the noble Lord for that very touching personal testimony about his neighbour who passed away. It is an important account of many who have put themselves at risk. The PHE report on high mortality groups includes bus drivers, taxi drivers and many who perform an important public service that puts them in front of the general public and therefore at risk from this virus. We absolutely support the wearing of masks. Published guidance will continue to recommend that wearing a face covering will reduce the risk not only to yourself but to others, particularly in enclosed and crowded spaces. The noble Lord asked about whether mandation should be in place and for whom, and I do not wish to duck his point The mandation of masks on public transport is best left to those who run it, which is why we have moved away from legal rules to an approach that enables personal judgments and the intervention of businesses and local leaders.