Grant Shapps: Public are "applying common sense" to face mask advice

18 July 2020, 10:33

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

By Seán Hickey

The Transport Secretary insisted that public compliance with face mask advice is "phenomenally high" and people are listening to government recommendations.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was speaking to Andrew Castle in the wake of Boris Johnson's announcement of further lockdown easing. Andrew asked Mr Shapps if he thought the measures will work.

He insisted that "people want to return back to normal" and while paving the way for a return to normality, the government will "plan for the worst."

Andrew pointed out that the government's scientific advisors have recommended for social distancing "to remain in place for a long time" and "a lot of people are trusting them" rather than government advice.

Mr Shapps admitted that "these are difficult decisions to make" but the main takeaway the government are getting is that the R rate of coronavirus in the UK is "between 0.7 and 0.9 and its been there for quite some time."

He added that "people have been broadly speaking obeying the advice" when it comes to wearing face masks which is in place to reduce the spread.

Andrew challenged his statement but Mr Shapps maintained that "people are applying common sense" to the advice and "adherence has been phenomenally high" with government recommendations.

Grant Shapps insisted the public are following government advice
Grant Shapps insisted the public are following government advice. Picture: PA

"By and large, people want to fight this virus and most people are just complying" said the Transport Secretary.

When asked about the government's plans to ease other sectors of the economy, the Transport Secretary insisted that "we will pull up all the scientific advice we have" when making further restriction easing.

He reminded Andrew that reopening too quickly can risk a second wave of the coronavirus and "you can do different things, but you can't do them all together."

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