When will YOU wear one? Javids Covid mask rallying cry sparks fury

Sajid Javid says UK should 'follow guidance' on face coverings

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Sajid Javid faced swarms of angry comments from political journalists and the public after Health Secretary suggested the UK should observe mask-wearing and social distancing to keep the cases of coronavirus down. But astute pundits noted Mr Javid himself has been seen not wearing a mask in the House of Commons and many on the Conservative side of the house were also not wearing one during Prime Minister’s Questions earlier that day. Many noted it was one rule for them and one rule for another with one angry commenter stating people should wear masks “unless you’re a Tory”.

Speaking during a coronavirus press conference, Mr Javid revealed the UK would be purchasing two antivirals to tackle the surge in cases.

But as the Health Secretary concluded his speech, he told the public the different ways they could try to keep the case rate down.

He explained: “There are many more things we can do to help contain the spread of this virus.

“Like meeting outdoors where possible and if you can only meet indoors, letting in fresh air.

“Like wearing a face-covering in crowded, enclosed spaces.

“Especially if you are coming into contact with people you don’t normally meet and making and taking rapid tests as part of your routine.”

Mr Javid also explained while the “Plan B” measure of mandatory face masks will not be introduced if people go for their booster shots he still urged the public to keep wearing one where they could.

But Mr Javid was quickly attacked for his advice and was accused of hypocrisy when he and other Conservative politicians do not wear one in the House of Commons.

Sajid Javid warns coronavirus pandemic 'is not over'

Many shared images of PMQs from that day which showed the majority of the frontbenches not wearing masks.

Similarly, cabinet meetings also see many ministers not wearing face coverings.

It is not the first time Mr Javid has come under attack for this issue and has explained MPs do not need to wear masks because they are not strangers.

But the public was not convinced with Twitter user @gaza380 commenting: “So noticeable no Tories wore masks in PMQs but almost everyone on opposition benches was.

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“This makes mask-wearing more of a political thing which is nonsense and secondly Javid is being a hypocrite when he’s now encouraging everyone to wear masks in enclosed spaces.”

@gmjnash added: “When is someone going to ask Javid why the Tories do not wear masks in the Commons?”

@Gillmmw wrote: “Sajid Javid says wear a mask, unless you’re a Tory MP in the House of Commons of Course. There’s a limit.”

While Mr Javid said the Government was not yet planning to move to the back-up measures he said there was a risk they may be needed in future.

“This pandemic is not over” he said as he warned the “virus remains a threat”.

His televised briefing came the day after MPs approved the renewal of emergency coronavirus powers for a further six months, giving the Government the power to reimpose certain public health restrictions.

The figures from the latest 24 hour period show a further 179 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the UK total to 139,031.


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