Responding to today’s decision by the Northern Ireland Executive that the wearing of face coverings in shops will now be made mandatory from Monday, Chair of BMA’s Northern Ireland general practitioners committee, Dr Alan Stout said: “We welcome this decision. This virus is still very much circulating in the community and the most recent statistics from the Department of Health tell us that the number of positive tests per-day has increased three fold from early July. The recent relaxation of social distancing rules from two meter to one meter means people are at greater risk of being exposed to COVID-19. It is vital that we don’t become complacent.
“The risk of exposure is higher again in indoor spaces outside of people’s own homes where social distancing is not possible. The wearing of nose and mouth coverings in these situations helps control the spread of infection and saves lives in the process. It also instils confidence among the general public that we are all doing our bit to stop the spread of this virus. This is especially important for the more vulnerable sections of our population, such as those who were shielding until recently.”