Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement that mask wearing will be made compulsory in shops and on public transport Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said: “Given reports of two confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the UK, the reintroduction of mandatory mask wearing is sensible and the right thing to do. However, in order for this measure to be fully effective it is important that the Government extends this mandate to all public indoor and closed settings. This includes the hospitality industry – such as for staff in restaurants and beauty salons - where the public tend to spend long periods of time in close contact with others. This addition to Government measures will have minimal economic and social impact, but rather evidence tells us that it will help to further reduce the spread of the virus.
“We only have a small window of opportunity to get this right to ensure that we don’t lose control of this new variant, which has the potential to have a devastating impact on the health service. The Government must act now, or we risk seeing even more unnecessary deaths.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.