May 26, 2022

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When we might be able to stop wearing face masks

When we might be able to stop wearing face masks
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It is now mandatory to cover your face in the majority of enclosed spaces, including shops and supermarkets.

You also have to wear face masks while ordering takeaway food and drinks but the coverings can be removed in the seating area.

People can be fined up to £100 for not following the rules and the police have the power to remove customers from shops if their face is not covered appropriately.

It is likely face masks will have to be worn until a vaccine is found, which does not look likely to happen until at least mid-2021.

This is what the government and scientific experts say on when it might be possible for us to not have to wear face masks:

One Cabinet source told the Express : “We are not doing this with a timeline in mind. This is part of the new normal.

“Until we get a vaccine we are going to have to be doing a lot of these things.

“We are not going to be doing this for a few weeks and then giving up. It’s part of a wider package of measures, such as social distancing.”

Another Government source added: “I don’t think anybody can know how long it will be but you have to assume we will be wearing masks for a while.”

Experts have warned face coverings should be in place in Britain until coronavirus is completely gone, meaning we are down to a consistently low daily death toll.

Dr David Strain, lecturer at Exeter University and chair of the British Medical Association’s Medical Academic Staff Committee said masks are essential to making life safer.

He said: “We need masks to slow the spread and make life safer for the most vulnerable to go about essential activities.

“Yesterday, more than 500 people tested positive for the virus, which the ONS figures suggest is only about a third of the true number of new cases in the UK.

“The remaining two-thirds of the population with the virus are the ‘silent spreaders’, people who carry and can potentially spread the virus despite having no symptoms themselves.

“The mandatory use of face coverings will reduce the risk to the population at large from these individuals.”

Dr Strain explained that incidence rates need to fall to one new case per million per day before masks can be safely removed.

Dr Julian Tang, a respiratory scientist at Leicester University, said: “Most of the world’s population is still susceptible to the virus, and we are still not sure how long any post-infection immunity will last.

“So if people can get used to all these precautions now, it will reduce the numbers of COVID-19 deaths over a longer-term.”

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