Ben Kentish challenges PM on plan to scrap mandatory face masks

12 July 2021, 19:42 | Updated: 10 October 2022, 14:17

Ben Kentish asks PM why masks are becoming optional

By Sam Sholli

LBC Westminster Correspondent Ben Kentish has questioned Prime Minister on the issue of face masks, ahead of July 19.

The Prime Minister has said that the wearing of face masks and the one-metre social distancing rule will not be legally required after step four of unlocking - set for July 19.

Addressing the PM at today's Downing Street press conference, LBC Westminster Correspondent said: "You've talked today about people needing to wear masks [and] expecting people to wear masks.

"But out country doesn't run on expectations, it runs on rules."

He then asked: "Now when we have rules in all areas of public life designed to ensure people act in a way to protect others...why in the middle of a global pandemic do you think that wearing a mask...should be one of the few areas of public life where people are expected to behave in a certain way rather than told to do so?"

Mr Johnson replied: "On the issue of masks, we're really following the same principle that we're following with all the legislation that we've had in place.

PM tells public to 'proceed with caution' when England unlocks

"We're trying to move towards personal responsibility, people thinking about others as well as about themselves.

"And that applies to the social distancing, it applies to how we think about the vulnerable [and] how we make sure that we continue to exercise extreme caution as we continue with the fight against a very dangerous disease.

"And clearly with masks there is a world of difference, as I said last week, between sitting alone on an empty station platform or in a crowded tube train.

"And on a crowded tube train we would, as a government, expect and recommend that people wear masks. And I have no doubt that that is what people will do."