Coronavirus cases in the UK have now reached more than 100,000, with 13,729 confirmed to have died from the virus. The UK’s lockdown has now been extended for another three weeks, and Professor Whitty, the UK’s chief medical adviser, has revealed the government is reviewing whether there are any circumstances in which it should recommend people wear masks in public to stop the virus spreading.
Currently, the government says “the evidence is weak” and it would be a “very bad thing” if demand for face masks increased, creating shortages for healthcare workers.
But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he wants people in the capital to wear masks or face coverings whenever they leave the house.
While some experts recommend wearing face masks for protection, others have suggested they’re ineffective.
TV doctor Dr Hilary Jones offered his expert advice on face masks on ITV’s Good Morning Britain with Lorraine.
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Coronavirus face mask: Dr Hilary recommends one instance when you should wear a face mask
Referring to the government’s current guidelines, Dr Hilary said: “What I think will happen, is they will have a review of the policy.
“If people are correctly social distancing, that’s enough, if they’re just going down to the shops.
“However, people who are in public facing roles, checkout staff, delivery staff, public transport staff, bus drivers, those sort of people, and people who are using public transport, I think there will be a use for a mask, because you can’t then socially distance.
“So if you can’t socially distance, I think you should wearing some kind mask, however effective they are.”
Last month, Dr Hilary offered advice on whether the same mask can be worn more than once.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain with Lorraine he said: “In an ideal world you wouldn’t use a mask twice…
“If they’re paper masks and they become moist they should be thrown away – full stop.”
But if masks are dry, Dr Hilary said they could be reused.
Coronavirus face mask: Dr Hilary says if you can social distance you don’t need to wear a mask
Before you take them off and after you take them off you should wash your hands.
He added: “If they’ve dried out, the same person could use them again.”
Dr Hilary went on to discuss different types of face masks and their quality.
He said: “In intensive care units (ICU) they’re air tight and much higher quality.
“If they’re cloth or paper – in theory you can reuse them again.
“But it’s not ideal, they need to be dry and handled very carefully.”
The National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) has issues new guidance for police officers in England to explain the reasons someone could “reasonably” leave their home during the coronavirus lockdown.
People should only leave their own to:
- Buy several days’ worth of food, including luxury items and alcohol
- Buy a small amount of a staple item or necessity (for example a newspaper, pet food, a loaf of bread or pint of milk)
- Collect surplus basic food items from a friend
- Buy tools and supplies to repair a fence panel damaged in bad weather
The following exercise is allowed:
- Going for a run or cycle, practising yoga, walking in the countryside or in cities or attending an allotment
- Driving to countryside and walking (where far more time is spent walking than driving)
- Stopping to rest or to eat lunch while on a long walk
- In some circumstances, exercising more than once per day
When it comes to work:
- Key workers or other essential workers can travel to work where it is not reasonably possible to work from home
- Some non-key workers or non-essential key workers can travel to work where it is not reasonably possible to work from home
- Deliver food packages to vulnerable people
Other reasons to leave home include:
Going to the vet if you pet needs essential treatment
Moving to a friend’s address for several days to “cool off” following an argument at hime
Providing support to vulnerable people