Should we all now wear a face mask? WHO official explains latest advice

15 April 2020, 13:59 | Updated: 15 April 2020, 14:01

Who should be wearing facemasks? WHO Special Envoy gives his advice

By Fiona Jones

Should we all now wear a face mask? WHO official explains the latest advice and predicts what the regulation will be once the lockdown is eased.

Chief medical officer Sir Patrick Vallance announced on Monday that the government is reviewing the use of face masks, which are not currently mandatory to wear, and will make recommendations accordingly depending on the outcome.

World Health Organisation official Dr David Nabarro told LBC that before we can consider mass wearing of masks in the UK, face masks should be considered "piece by piece" and must go to the health workers first.

"Without them, they are at risk. There is a global shortage, they must be prioritised," he said.

"Face protection needs to be worn by people who have symptoms of the disease or suspect they might have symptoms of the disease. That stops them spreading it."

"Thirdly people whose occupations require them to be up close to other people, whether it's working in supermarkets, hairdressing or similar things. They may well wish to wear face protection and I believe they should. You never know who might have the Covid.

"I think the wider population on many countries now are wearing face masks," Dr Nabarro continued, "we saw it in South East Asia after the SARS of 2003.

"I personally will be wearing a mask when lockdown's released because I'm 70 and I've got blood pressure that is controlled so I do believe that there should be wider wearing of masks."

He said that there cannot be a blanket recommendation for the whole world as governments must make their own judgement.

"I do believe, as I've said before, that we'll move towards widespread wearing of masks while the Covid virus is still roaming around our communities."

As Spain partially reopens, police officers have been seen handing out face masks and the same is reportedly taking place in Italy.

In Europe, some countries have made wearing face masks mandatory including Czech Republic and Germany.

United States health officials are also encouraging masks or face cloths to help contain the country's escalating outbreak, as well as Asian countries including mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan.

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Dame Esther Rantzen has told LBC why she is campaigning to change the law on assisted dying

‘Dogs get treated better than humans’, Esther Rantzen says, as TV legend demands assisted dying law change

Rishi Sunak (l) puts on a brave face to the Tories by-election defeats on a visit to Harlow. New Kingswood MP Damien Egan (top r) and Wellingborough MP Gem Kitchen (bottom r)

Rishi Sunak begs frustrated Tories 'not to put Starmer in power' after party suffers double by-election disaster

New Labour MPs Damien Egan and Gen Kitchen

'They are not very good results': Tory chairman admits after double by-election drubbings as MPs call for tax cuts

The peer was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

'It was known yesterday' Azhar Ali had made more Israel conspiracy theory comments, peer tells LBC

Scammers should be treated like violent criminals, a senior anti-fraud officer has said.

Scammers should be treated like violent criminals, senior anti-fraud officer tells LBC

The vessel is due to lead the largest Nato exercise since the Cold War, involving more than 40 vessels, after its sister ship was forced to cancel its deployment because of an 'issue' with its propeller shaft.

HMS Prince of Wales docked while it should be 'defending our interests abroad', Minister brands it 'not acceptable'

Lord Rose took aim at government quangos in the wake of the Post Office scandal

'They grow like multi-headed hydras': Asda chairman takes aim at government quangos after Post Office scandal

Exclusive
Lord Stuart Rose speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari

Police 'not picking up the phone' to attend shoplifting 'endemic', Lord Stuart Rose tells LBC

Dentists who set up practice in areas of England with poor access to NHS care will be offered a £20,000 bonus

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins stumped on exact figure for new dentists as ministers plan £20,000 ‘golden hello’

When asked by Nick to sum up the Government in one word, Ms Keegan said: "Delivering."

Gillian Keegan rates the Government using Ofsted descriptions - and it's not 'Outstanding'

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan tells LBC she is ‘very, very confident’ of 15 hours of free childcare by April

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan tells LBC she is ‘very, very confident’ of 15 hours of free childcare by April

'Fairer' social housing reforms will ensure system used 'in the right way' by those who 'play by the rules', the Housing Minister told LBC

'Fairer' social housing reforms will ensure system used 'in the right way' by those who 'play by the rules'

Iceland CEO on his support for Labour after defecting from the Tories.

'The Tories have failed the nation': Iceland CEO and former Tory donor throws support behind Labour

The policing minister has said first-time offenders for knife crime will not be jailed.

No plans to jail first-time knife offenders despite desperate pleas of Nottingham attack victim's family

Exclusive
US voters can do better than Donald Trump and Joe Biden

'Two old men fighting over a Zimmer frame': US can do better than Trump or Biden as president, says Jon Sopel

Nick Ferrari says bosses need to 'get a grip' and start justifying their huge pay packets with services that actually work

Firms led by overpaid bosses need a ‘reality check’ - let's get people back to the office, says Nick Ferrari