Dr Hilary challenged the Government’s decision to make the use of face masks compulsory on public transport to limit the spread of the coronavirus from June 15. The Good Morning Britain contributor said the use of face coverings should become routine immediately, insisting masks can help when social distancing is not possible. Speaking to GMB, Dr Hilary said: “I think the 15 days delay is in order to put in place facilities to fine people, to make it compulsory, to make sure people if they are travelling on public transport are wearing a mask or are refused travel.
“I think that’s what the delay is. It should be done now.
“I have always said, where people can’t socially distance, they should be wearing some kind of face covering. It stops people from picking up the virus from people who may be symptomatic or not who’ve got the virus.
“If they are wearing a mask, there is a limited amount of evidence that it does protect other people if others are wearing face coverings.”
Dr Hilary also urged Britons not to be complacent as lockdown measures start to be relaxed further later in the month.
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Dr Hilary questioned the decision to delay the face masks order
Dr Hilary warned NHS staff is “concerned” about a new wave of the coronavirus
The physician said NHS colleagues are worried about a second wave of the virus washing through the UK as more people are allowed out.
Dr Hilary continued: “If you talk to my NHS colleagues, they are very concerned that we will see a second wave. In fact, they are planning for a second wave.
“We can mitigate by being responsible, by taking care, by staying at home as much as possible, working from home.
“Hand-washing, don’t forget that. People are starting to be a bit complacent about that again, and social distancing is still very important.
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The coronavirus lockdown will continue to be relaxed if the rate of infection stays down
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Thursday everyone will be required to wear a face mask on buses and the tube due to the public transport network facing “increasing challenges” as Britons head back to work and school.
Mr Shapps said: “We are doing what many other countries have asked transport users to do. The evidence is that wearing face coverings offers some, albeit limited protection.”
“That doesn’t mean surgical masks, which we must keep for clinical settings. It means the kind of face-covering you can easily make at home.
“There will be exemptions to these rules for very young children, for disabled people and those with breathing difficulties.”
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The Government said they want to be confident the virus is under control before lockdown is lifted
The Government had previously maintained evidence on the use of face masks to prevent catching the virus was minimal.
But the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said this week the evidence available was “marginal but positive”.
Boris Johnson had previously advised Britons to wear a form of face-covering in shops where social distancing cannot be maintained.
By contrast, Austria, Poland, Luxembourg and dozens more have taken tougher stances – and much earlier than the UK – making masks compulsory in certain situations.