Masks are still crucial in the fight against Covid

Now isn’t the time to ditch mandatory mask wearing. The Prime Minister should be providing direction to the public

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement today (Monday) regarding the relaxing of the remaining Covid restrictions in England, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“Now isn’t the time to ditch mandatory mask wearing. The Prime Minister should be providing direction to the public, not side-stepping the responsibility that comes with government.

“Rising infections have more than made the case for keeping masks in shops, schools, on public transport and other enclosed spaces. But a plethora of mixed messages is sowing confusion where clarity is needed.

“Government guidance will still require everyone working in and visiting hospitals and care homes to wear masks after next week.

“But talk of personal responsibility could see NHS and care staff put in impossible, potentially abusive, situations. They’ll be the ones left to ensure people continue to mask up.

“Everyone wants a return to normality, but that must happen safely. Relaxing the rules on face coverings may make many people less likely to visit shops, pubs and theatres. And that’s the reverse of what the economy needs.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in the NHS, local government, education, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.

Media contacts:  
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk