Coronavirus: People in England told to Cover faces in some public areas

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Coronavirus: People in England told to Cover faces in some public areas

Information correct as of 12.05.2020

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People in England should now aim to wear face coverings on public transport and in some shops, the UK government has said.

A document outlining new coronavirus lockdown rules suggests face coverings for enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible.

That advice had already been recommended by the governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

People are also allowed to meet one person from another household outside.

It came after Boris Johnson announced on Sunday a "conditional plan" to begin lifting England's coronavirus lockdown.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own powers over the lockdown and have not lifted measures to the same extent.

The PM led the government's daily Downing Street briefing after appearing before MPs in the House of Commons.

Mr Johnson told Parliament the "roadmap" for lifting the lockdown would enable the country to "control" the disease if people continue to follow the rules.

 

He said the public should exercise "good, solid, British common sense" in adapting their lives to the next phase of the coronavirus response.

But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told the Commons the country needed more "clarity and reassurance" from the government, and that "both are in pretty short supply".

He later added: "The prime minister said he was setting out a roadmap, but if we're to complete the journey safely a road map needs clear directions. So many of us have questions that need answering."

 

It comes as a further 210 people have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of deaths recorded to 32,065.

After eight days of missing its goal of 100,000 tests a day, on Monday the government counted 100,490 tests on 10 May.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK government's chief scientific adviser, told the Downing Street briefing that Office for National Statistics data suggests an estimated 136,000 people are currently infected with coronavirus in the UK.

He said the amount of time it may take for this number to halve is around two weeks on current infection rates.

The government published a 50-page document on Monday afternoon, alongside new guidance for the public, setting out more details of its planned timetable for lifting Covid-19 restrictions.

"As more people return to work, there will be more movement outside people's immediate household," the guidance says.

"This increased mobility means the government is now advising that people should aim to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet, for example on public transport or in some shops."

The new guidance makes clear that a face covering is not the same as face masks, such as those worn by healthcare workers which "must continue to be reserved for those who need it".

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published guidance for companies "to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating as safely as possible".

It features a number of suggestions, including carrying out a workplace risk assessment with trade unions, maintaining a 2m distance wherever possible, and "reinforcing" cleaning practices.

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  • Mollie Page
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