Mask-wearing should be compulsory in the UK, says caller

9 December 2020, 17:46

By Fiona Jones

This caller thinks mask-wearing should be compulsory in the UK - he explains why.

Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions must be imposed in London within the next 48 hours if the capital is to avoid a surge in deaths over Christmas, an expert has warned.

The latest data shows a worrying increase in new coronavirus cases in the majority of London boroughs.

Gary from Enfield, east London, said: "The way I look at Christmas is we miss one Christmas or have no Christmas at all."

When he has been out and about running errands "it's a question of finding someone who's actually wearing a mask."

Gary told Shelagh he comes from India where it is "compulsory" to wear masks "and if you don't wear it you get fined.

"You talk about behaviour, people just do not fear it at all, particularly the younger generation," he said, "and they're putting us, the older generation, at risk."

He pointed out that when the young get it they can "shrug it off as a bad cold."

"The majority of this could all be resolved if you made mask wearing compulsory. It's an airborne virus, wearing a mask will protect you from it," Gary said, citing his visit to a shopping mall where practically no one seemed to care about the guidelines.

He posited that legalising compulsory mask wearing is "surely the cheapest form of resolving this issue."

Shelagh had a message for those refusing masks: "Don't wait for evidence on masks, it won't kill you, just wear a mask when you're up close to people and can't keep your distance...it's basically like covering your hand when you sneeze."

Gary said that people who are denying mask-wearing "don't even need evidence" as it has already proven to lower the risk of transmission - "at least in shops" mask-wearing should be compulsory.

Sadly, he said, shop owners are less inclined to turn customers away because they need the income now more than ever.