Dr Hilary warns refusing to wear a mask is ‘selfish’ – amid fears of second coronavirus wave


REFUSING to wear a face mask to help prevent a second wave of coronavirus is “selfish”, says Dr Hilary Jones.

Good Morning Britain’s resident GP warned that not wearing some form of face covering could put others at risk.

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Dr Hilary Jones warned that it is 'selfish' not to wear a face covering in public

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Dr Hilary Jones warned that it is ‘selfish’ not to wear a face covering in public

His comments were in response to a viewer’s tweet, which said: “I will not wear a mask. Sorry I don’t feel that it’s necessary, cos as long as I wash my hands, I don’t cough or splatter over anyone, I keep my distance, that’s easy enough for me to do.”

Speaking on Good Morning Britain today, Dr Hilary said: “Well she doesn’t know if she’s asymptomatically carrying Covid-19.

“She may think she’s healthy and well, but so many people have been despite carrying Covid-19, so she is potentially putting other people at risk.

“So you could say that she is being selfish. She might feel well, and if everybody felt like that and nobody wore masks then probably the transmission rate would increase.”

Mask refusal

It came after a GMB poll revealed just over 30 per cent of people admitted they did not think face masks should be compulsory in shops.

On Friday, Boris Johnson said the Government needed to be stricter in making people wear them and hinted that they could become mandatory in shops.

But cabinet minister Michael Gove said yesterday that face coverings should not be made mandatory in shops but should be worn out of courtesy and consideration for others.

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Dr Hilary added: “I think that those people, and in our poll there are about 32 percent aren’t there who say we don’t think it should be made obligatory.

“The more people who think they don’t need to, ‘we don’t need to wash our hands, we don’t need to wear masks, we don’t need to take precautions, we can go to the beach, we can get in people’s cars’… they’re the ones who will put the transmission rate up.

“They’ll impair the economy, make the NHS under strain again, and I think we either all do it or none at all.”

It comes as Kate Garraway returned to the show for the first time in four months – after her husband Derek was struck down with coronavirus.

Coverings confusion

Meanwhile, face masks rules have continued to cause confusion for people in England over the weekend.

A law making face coverings in stores mandatory for most people came into effect in Scotland on Friday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon issued a plea for people to abide by the new law, appealing for Scots to do so “in solidarity” to protect both themselves and others.

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In England and Wales, it’s currently only advised for people to wear them in shops and in other enclosed spaces – where people cannot stay 2m apart.

Anyone not wearing one on a train, bus or other form of public transport can be fined £100 – but only 21 have been dished out.

The PM said on Friday he was looking at tightening up the rules to make sure that more people wear them – a hint that making the mandatory could become the norm soon.

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But Michael Gove said it was only advice and they would not be made compulsory.

Mr Gove told the BBC: “I would encourage people to wear face masks when they are inside, in an environment where they are likely to be mixing with others and where the ventilation may not be as good as it might.

“I think that it is basic good manners, courtesy and consideration, to wear a face mask if you are, for example, in a shop. I trust people’s good sense.”

Behavioural expert Professor Susan Michie, who is a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said any legislation needed to be accompanied with information campaigns on why and how to follow the rules if people are to adhere to them.

She said this had not been seen with the UK Government’s approach to face coverings in England, adding that it was “signalling importance rather than punishment”.

Shadow health minister Justin Madders urged Health Secretary Matt Hancock to clarify whether wearing face coverings should be mandatory in shops.

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He told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: “We need Matt Hancock to come to the House (tomorrow) and say this is what the science says, this is what we believe you should be doing and then let’s move on. Have a clear message and we all know where we stand.”

Studies have suggested that up to 70 per cent of people who have the virus could have it asymptotically – and do not know they have it.

Face coverings can stop people from spreading the virus unknowlingly.

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