Should We All Still Be Wearing Face Masks – And, If So, Where?

Health secretary Sajid Javid has said there could be a reintroduction of Covid restrictions in England if “people don’t wear masks when they really should”.

In his first Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, he outlined the need for caution as Covid cases spike, advising that people should meet outdoor where possible, and wear masks in “really crowded” places and where they are “with lots of people that they don’t normally hang out with”.

Wearing a mask or face covering is not currently compulsory in England, though it is still mandated in most indoor public spaces in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Rules on wearing masks and coverings in England were lifted in July along with most other remaining lockdown restrictions. Since then, the number of people wearing masks has steadily decreased.

According to a survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the percentage of people in England, Scotland and Wales who said they had worn a face-covering outside their home in the past seven days dropped by 9% between July 28 and October 3.

While 95% of respondents over the age of 16 said they had worn a mask in the week before remaining social distancing restrictions were lifted, this had dropped to 86% by October.

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