People should be able to ditch face masks over summer, say some science advisers

23 April 2021, 18:57

The public may be able to avoid wearing face masks over the summer
The public may be able to avoid wearing face masks over the summer. Picture: PA

By Harriet Whitehead

The public should be able to avoid wearing face masks over the summer, as vaccines do the heavy lifting in controlling Covid-19, some government scientific advisers believe.

The Press Association reports that sources advising the Government say there is nothing currently in the data to suggest that people will not be able to enjoy a relatively normal summer. Nonetheless, coronavirus cases may rise in the run up to autumn.

Asked about mask-wearing in the coming months, one source said that vaccine efficiency and uptake is working so well that things will return to much more like normal life over the summer months.

However, masks and possibly other measures may be needed next autumn and winter if cases surge, they said.

READ MORE: 77 cases of ‘double mutant’ Covid-19 variant discovered in UK

Step four of the Government's road map for England currently states that all legal limits on social contact will be removed by June 21 at the earliest.

It is largely anticipates that a spike in cases in winter would be lower than in the past.

READ MORE: Scotland relaxes lockdown rules on travel and meeting up outdoors

READ MORE: Catching Covid-19 does not protect young people against reinfection, study finds

The source said that what happens will depend on people's behaviours as well as other measures.

They added there should be a relaxation of measures across all age groups soon, including for those who have had two vaccines, enabling them to meet up more freely.

The source said there are currently no variants that totally evade vaccine effectiveness, and people's immune responses to vaccines is probably enough to have quite a significant effect on most variants.

This comes as it was found coronavirus was not the leading cause of death in England and Wales in March for the first time since October.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows Covid-19 was the third leading cause of death in both countries that month, accounting for 9.2% of all fatalities registered in England and 6.3% in Wales. The virus was the leading cause of death each month from November to February.