Dr Hilary Jones criticises government’s decision to wait 11 days for new face mask rule

14 July 2020, 13:08

Dr Hilary has said face masks should be made mandatory now, not in 11 days.

Dr Hilary Jones has criticised the government’s decision to put an 11-day wait on making masks compulsory in shops.

It was announced at the start of the week that the whole of the UK must wear masks in shops and enclosed spaces to try and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Under the new rules, anyone who is caught ignoring this could face a £100 fine.

But with the changes not coming into force until 24 July, Dr Hilary has said it makes ‘no logistical sense’ to wait.

Dr Hilary criticised the government decision on face masks
Dr Hilary criticised the government decision on face masks. Picture: ITV

Speaking on Tuesday’s Good Morning Britain, Dr Hilary asked Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway: “Why don’t we do it now? 11 days’ time doesn’t make any logical sense.

Read More: Face masks mandatory in UK shops: When does it start and who is exempt?

“If we’re going to use face coverings in the shops, do it now, while the virus is still fairly prevalent. Why wait 11 days?”

He went on: “So, 11 days’ time – it’s better than nothing, but it should be done now.”

Defending the government, Ben said: “Well they argue that we can’t just drop this on everybody.

“We can’t just drop this on shops, we’ve got to give them enough time to get stocks in, just in case people turn up, because they don’t want to turn away their customers who haven’t been able to come to the shops, because they haven’t got a face mask.”

Face masks will be mandatory in the UK from July 24th
Face masks will be mandatory in the UK from July 24th. Picture: Getty Images

Dr Hilary then explained: “Well, remember we’re not talking about [masks], we’re talking face coverings, which are easy to manufacture.

Read More: Do children have to wear face masks in shops?

“Anybody can produce a face covering within a few moments of leaving before they leave home. It’s a bandana, it’s a scarf, it’s something simply made.

“It isn’t rocket science and actually we really need to approach doing this more because, simply because, people aren’t socially distancing.”

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon started enforcing the new rule on July 10, while England will be bringing in the new policy in just over a week.

Children aged 11 and under are not required to wear face coverings, as well as people with certain disabilities.

Dr Hilary went on to explain why it was so necessary to bring in the rules.

“There’s growing evidence, 200 scientists wrote to the World Health Organisation that we believe this virus could be airborne, rather than aerosol transmission,” he said.

“And therefore it lingers in the air for much longer than we previously thought.”

Now Read: How to make your own DIY face masks and coverings at home