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Friday, September 24, 2021

MPs jeer Sajid Javid as he suggests compulsory mask wearing could return

MPs jeered the Health Secretary as he told the House of Commons that the return of compulsory mask wearing could form part of the Government’s Covid winter plan. 

Sajid Javid outlined a number of changes people can make to their daily routines, telling MPs: “Meeting outdoors where possible or, if you need to be indoors, trying to let in fresh air.”

With scores of maskless Conservative MPs representing different parts of the country in the chamber, Mr Javid suggested: “Wearing a face mask in crowded, enclosed spaces where you can come into contact with people that you don’t normally meet.”

As he mentioned the change of advice on face coverings, a number of MPs in the chamber could be heard jeering. 

Mr Javid went on to outline the “Plan B” of contingency measures, including working from home and face coverings.

He told MPs: “We have seen how quickly this virus can adapt and change so we have prepared a Plan B of contingency measures that we can call upon only if they are needed and supported by the data to prevent unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

“These measures would be communicating clearly and urgently the need for caution. Legally mandating face coverings in certain settings.”

A howl of anguish could be heard at this point from Conservative former minister Sir Desmond Swayne.

Mr Javid went on: “Whilst we’re not going ahead with mandatory vaccine-only Covid-status certification now, we will be holding that power in reserve. As well as these three steps, we’d consider a further measure of asking people to work from home if they can for a limited time if that is supported by the data.

“Any responsible government must prepare for all eventualities, and although these measures are not an outcome anyone wants, it’s one we need to be ready for just in case.”

What’s your take on the debate? Have your say below. 

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