UK News

Northeast doctor calls prime minister’s decision to end mask law ‘crazy’ as Covid cases climb UK News

A leading doctor in the Northeast called the government’s decision to make mask wear a matter of personal responsibility “crazy.”

Dr George Rae, chairman of the North East British Medical Association Council, sent an open letter to MPs and metro mayors in the region last week, urging them to call on the government to maintain certain restrictions after July 19.

Boris Johnson told the country on Monday that the so-called ‘freedom day’ on July 19 will take place – but warned: ‘We can’t just instantly come back … to life as it was before Covid “.

Read more:Every rule ending July 19 and which ones we must always follow

Nonetheless, the prime minister said, the vast majority of legal rules and restrictions would be lifted.

Instead, he said, people would be urged to exercise “extreme caution” and “personal responsibility.”

Rules that will end on July 19 include a ban on groups of more than six indoor meetings and groups of more than 30 outdoor meetings. The obligation for pubs to only offer table service will end and people will no longer be legally required to wear face masks anywhere.

However, people will be “expected” to cover their faces in crowded indoor locations, including buses, trains and subways.

Dr Rae said removing the legal requirement to wear masks would put the public at risk for those who refuse to wear them – without any authority to demand that they do so.

He said: “Masks are something that as a public health measure has been shown categorically to prevent the virus from spreading from person to person: we are not asking people to wear them all the time. time, it is not a big request to say that when you are in confined spaces like subways and trains it should be mandatory.

“We know the vast majority of the public thinks we should wear them, and I know virtually everyone in the medical community is behind me when I say we should wear them.

“But there will be people who won’t, and if, for example, I was the manager of a busy store where people walked in all day, I would like to have the power to say ‘you have to wear your mask. , that’s the law of the land. “There have been cases where people have been offended, but right now people can say” look, you have to wear it. “

“It’s crazy not to use this very, very important public health measure.”

Dr Rae said the population was still not sufficiently vaccinated to allow all rules to be dropped.

The government has acknowledged that it expects an increase in Covid-19 cases over the summer, with a likely increase in hospitalizations and deaths. However, he says the vaccine will significantly reduce the latter, while the former is an inevitable consequence of lifting the rules which will be less dangerous in summer than in winter.

A subway passenger wearing a mask at Pelaw station
Metro passengers can decide to wear masks from Monday July 19

Dr Rae said he agreed with this logic to some extent, but that lifting the restrictions “shouldn’t be a binary ‘all or nothing’ decision.”

He said: “Yes, society wants to get back as close to normal as possible, society deserves to come back as close to normal as possible. But you don’t have to be a doctor to see how cases increase in your life. the North-east.

“Of course, reopening – it’s almost without a doubt the best time to do it while people can go out, however, you can keep important public health measures like masks in place at the same time. not to wear them everywhere, it is not a big request, and you will do your duty as a citizen when you wear your mask. “

The North Tyneside GP said it was a ‘huge disappointment’ to see the government end the law as the region’s NHS braces for an increase in admissions while trying to close the huge backlog of care put on hold at the start of the pandemic.

He also said the government should help businesses keep their customers safe, with financial support for better ventilation and a space for social distancing.

In the open letter to local politicians, Dr Rae called for:

  • Continued obligation to wear a mask in enclosed public spaces, such as public transport, shops, healthcare facilities in common areas and educational facilities where adequate ventilation and distancing is often not possible.
  • Significantly improved public messaging and education, noting that while the virus continues to circulate, practicing social distancing and meeting outdoors or in well-ventilated spaces – and wearing masks when that is not possible – remains the best way to reduce the risk of infection and stay safe yourself.
  • Increased advice and support for businesses and educational institutions to create sustainable and secure environments against Covid, as well as the enforcement of standards.
  • Emphasis is placed on the importance of good ventilation, including the establishment of legal standards.
  • Financial and other support to businesses and educational institutions should be made available to implement these requirements …

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-07-12 18:43:35

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *