Why is the UK late on facemasks, Nick Ferrari asks Transport Secretary
5 June 2020, 08:38
As the government finally made facemasks compulsory on public transport, Nick Ferrari asked the Transport Secretary why the UK always seems to be playing catch-up with other countries.
New rules starting on the 15th June mean masks will have to be worn on all trains, tubes, buses and trams in England to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Speaking to Grant Shapps, Nick asked why the government have decided to implement this rule now.
He said: "The sense is we're late to the party again. We, the United Kingdom, was late to lockdown. There's a sense we're late to quarantine and we're late on facemasks.
"Why are the United Kingdom always playing catch-up?"
Mr Shapps insisted: "That's a mischaracterisation to say that. We were several weeks behind, in particular Europe on where the disease was up to. So of course it's always going to be the case that we're several weeks behind the next measure."
Nick asked him: "Why don't we try to get ahead of the game?"
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The Transport Minister stated: "Giving the example of transport and the compulsory wearing of facemasks, transport's been largely empty. 95% of passengers haven't been there and maintaining social distancing, by and large, has been extremely straight-forward.
"We know though that on 15th June, non-essential retail and secondary schools reopen and we know there will be increased pressure.
"The message will carry on - please don't take public transport if you can avoid it. But we know it will be a bit busier, so it seems sensible to give people the warning now that you'll need to wear a cloth face covering to be able to use the transport system."