The British Medical Association of doctors has urged the government to mandate the wearing of masks in workplaces.
The recommendation was made among a package of proposed restrictions in a statement by the union this week. The BMA said additional measures must immediately be put in place because the government’s pandemic efforts are not working to stem the tide of the Coronavirus and the public is losing trust in the effectiveness of locking down.
BMA Chair of Council, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said: “The Government has a duty to regain the public’s confidence and faith in measures being taken to get the spread of the virus back under control.
“The infection has risen following rapid relaxation of measures and with the Westminster government letting down its guard – as recently as August, the Government was encouraging people to travel, go to work and mix in restaurants and pubs,” he added.
Stricter measures developed through consultation with medical experts were set out by the union, including a requirement to wear masks in workplaces as well as outdoor situations where social distancing is not possible.
The BMA also proposed amending the Rule of 6 to one where a maximum of six people from only two households can meet, preferably outdoors; providing free medical-grade masks to vulnerable populations and people in receipt of free prescriptions; and offering subsidised masks at the entrance of public buildings.
The test and trace app should be improved to give users more detail on the level of risk in their area, the union said, and the government must do more to make workplaces safe.
“It must also provide the financial support businesses need to enable them to make premises and settings Covid secure while providing clear rules on what ‘Covid secure’ means,” Dr Nagpaul said.