THE QUESTION OF MASKS: Transport for London to uphold mask rules
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has backed the decision by Transport for London to require passengers to carry on wearing masks.
Mr Shapps said the decision was in line with what ministers expected after it was announced that most lockdown restrictions in England would end from Monday.
“Whilst we are going from this being a legal requirement to guidelines, we do expect individual carriers to make sure they are putting in place whatever is appropriate for their network,” he told Sky News.
“The airlines have already said that you will need to carry on wearing masks on those. It is very much in line with what we expected – indeed wanted – to happen.”
Mayor of London
When asked about the enforcement of mask wearing on public transport in London, London Mayor Sadiq Khan told BBC Breakfast: “We employ a number of enforcement officers, over 400.
“They will be making sure if anyone’s not wearing a face mask, they will be reminded of the importance of doing so.
“It’s not perfect. [It] would have been better if national rules applied across the country to avoid any confusion.
“The government for their own reasons have decided not to do that.”
In regards to people who travel into London from other parts of the UK, he said: “A number of services that come into London are not my responsibility.
“If you are in London, you need to follow the rules.”
Masks as a “sign of respect” for others
Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, one of the scientists behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 jab, told Good Morning Britain: “None of the protective measures are completely effective on their own and we get the best protection when we link up different ways of protecting ourselves – so if we get everybody who is eligible for the vaccine to have the vaccine, if we wear a facemask indoors in crowded areas.
“Remember, we wear a mask to protect other people – they’re not to protect us so much as to protect other people from us, from the risk that we might be infected, and I think it’s a sign of respect, if you’re in a situation where you might be able to transmit the virus to somebody else, to keep the mask on.
“I will follow Chris Whitty’s advice to wear a mask in indoor crowded situations, or if anybody else was particularly wanting me to wear a mask then I would.”
Professor Catherine Green, who was also part of the team that developed the vaccine, said: “The vaccine is a seatbelt, it’s keeping everybody around us safe. There’s no reason not to wear a mask too – sometimes two safety measures are better than one, and not everybody can take the vaccine.”
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