Masks should be compulsory outside and inside and booze sales curbed, medics say

Top medics are calling for face coverings to be mandatory outside and indoors – along with tighter restrictions on buying alcohol.

The British Medical Association (BMA) says masks must be compulsory outdoors where the two metre social distancing rule to can’t be followed.

Chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul also said rules on purchasing booze in England should come into line with Scotland, the Times reported.

Alcohol can only be sold between 10am and 10pm north of the border, including in supermarkets.

The BMA, which represents doctors across the country, says masks should be compulsory in all offices unless workers are alone.

And the over-60s should be given “medical grade” masks, along with obese and people vulnerable to coronavirus because of their health conditions.

The group's recommendations come amid a sharp rise in Covid-19 infections in the country.

Dr Nagpaul told the newspaper: “It cannot be easy for the public to understand what will make a difference if they're told to wear a mask in one setting, but then it's not required in another.

“It's clear that most workplaces were never designed for people to work two metres apart.

“The rules should be absolutely that where you are likely to interact with one another within two metres, you wear a mask indoors.

“Simple effective rules and tighter restrictions are urgently needed to avoid communities suffering the paralysing impact of full local lockdowns and the impact that uncontrolled infections will have on our NHS.”

The BMA is calling for the current Rule of Six to be modified so only two households – consisting of no more than six people – can meet, ideally outdoors.

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More financial support should be given to businesses so they can make venues Covid secure with clear rules on what this means, according to the group.

Dr Nagpaul added: "We are having to swallow a very bitter pill of the infection continuing to spread at a perilous rate.

"Stronger measures brought in now could be a far sweeter pill in the long run for far more people."

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The Department of Health and Social Care defended the current measures, saying they have been guided by the advice of experts "at every stage".

A spokesman said: “We have been clear from the outset that public compliance with self-isolation rules and social distancing measures is absolutely crucial to preventing the spread of the virus.

"We have introduced financial support to help people self-isolate and simplified social distancing rules, through the rule of six and our 'Hands. Face. Space' campaign.

"Our response ensured the NHS was not overwhelmed even at the virus' peak, so that everyone was always able to get the best possible care.”

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