Sadiq Khan: The Prime Minister now agrees with me that we all need to wear facemasks
1 May 2020, 14:03
The Mayor of London told LBC that Boris Johnson now agrees with him that the public will need to wear facemasks on public transport and in shops once lockdown is over.
The government had insisted their was no evidence to back up the wearing of masks to slow the spread of coronavirus, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock even telling LBC that the science on it was "extremely weak".
Sadiq Khan has been a constant supporter of facemasks, especially on the tube and London buses.
And after speaking to the Prime Minister this morning, Mr Khan said they are both now agreed on the need for facial coverings.
He told Shelagh Fogarty: "One of the things I have been lobbying for is for us to be wearing non-medical facial coverings where it isn't possible to keep our distance.
"Why? If you're pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic - you have the virus, but you aren't showing symptoms - by wearing a non-medical facial covering, it stops you giving someone else the virus. It won't stop you catching it, but it stops you giving someone else the virus.
"The good news is that yesterday the Prime Minister confirmed that in the next phase, we'll be advising people to wear these if you're on public transport or you're in a shop where you can't keep your distance.
"He agrees with me now. The government agrees with me now.
"This is not instead of. This is as well as. This is top of staying at home unless you really have to leave. This is on top of keeping your social distance. This is on top of regularly and thoroughly because there is no other way of people to use tubes, buses or shops in the foreseeable future."
Mr Khan revealed they have put social distancing markers in place on the tube platforms and in the carriages, but warned just a small increase in passengers would make social distancing impossible on the Underground.
Currently, tube use is at around 15% of usual amounts. If that goes up even to just 30%, it will be impossible to stay 2m from other people.
Hear his full interview at the top of the page.