Sadiq Khan: "Face masks will be mandatory for the foreseeable future"

14 July 2020, 14:38

By Fiona Jones

Sadiq Khan predicted that face masks will be mandatory in confined public spaces for the foreseeable future.

Face coverings will become mandatory in all shops and supermarkets in England from 24 July, a decision which London Mayor Sadiq Khan has welcomed.

"I wrote to the Prime MInister more than three months ago on this issue and I'm really pleased he's followed the expert evidence from the WHO, from the British Medical Association, from the Royal Society but also what we're seeing around the world," said Mr Khan.

"This along with some other measures will help us finally get a grip with this virus," he said.

Shelagh asked the Mayor to respond to callers who feel uncomfortable by the compulsory nature of the mask wearing.

He responded that similar reactions occurred when seatbelts first became compulsory, when smoking was banned in public places and when breathalysers were introduced to combat drink driving.

While Mr Khan did not think face mask wearing would be a permanent change, he said, "I do think for the foreseeable future we'll have to wear face coverings in confined spaces where we can't socially distance for the obvious reason: there's no vaccine."

He called this face mask U-turn "another example of where this Government has been off the pace" and accused the Cabinet of reacting as opposed to making informed choices.

"It begs the question: why delay until 24 July, why not say compulsory from today?" he asked.