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Doctors’ leaders say face coverings should be worn in Wales

Photo credit: Matthew Horwood

Doctors’ leaders are calling on Welsh Government to change their position on face coverings, saying that they should be worn in areas where people cannot socially distance.

Yesterday, Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, announced that it will be compulsory to wear face masks on public transport in England from 15 June. During the daily coronavirus briefing, he said that face masks would be a ‘condition of travel’ and that not wearing one could lead to receiving a fine.

BMA Cymru Wales council chair, Dr David Bailey said:

“BMA Cymru Wales advocates the wearing of face coverings by the public in areas where they cannot socially distance.

“There still remains a considerable risk of infection, and emerging evidence has shown that if mouths and noses are covered when people are in areas where they cannot socially distance, it may help in in controlling the spread of infection of COVID-19 and therefore save lives.

“BMA Cymru Wales is calling on Welsh Government to change their position immediately, to lessen the risk of the public spreading the virus.

“Further, we are calling on Welsh Government to ensure a supply of face coverings for the public, similar to practices in other nations, as there will be circumstances where many individuals may not have the capacity to make them or may be unable to procure them when needed. It is sensible that these face coverings are not the same as the medical-grade masks which must be reserved for frontline staff whose job is dependent upon having them for adequate protection.

“The public must be informed and educated on how and when to use face coverings properly and it must be made clear to the public that this does not reduce the need and importance of continued adherence to social distancing and proper hand hygiene.”