Petition launched calling for face coverings to be made compulsory in Welsh shops and hospitals
A petition has been launched calling for the wearing face coverings to be made compulsory in shops and hospitals in Wales.
Currently face coverings are only required on public transport in the country, despite them being required in more public places in other parts of the UK.
The Welsh Conservatives are now calling on the Welsh Government to extend their use further.
Clwyd West MS Darren Millar said: “Rightly, the lockdown has been eased so that we can tackle the economic crisis as well as the public health emergency.
“But as society opens up and more people are out and about, social distancing is becoming more difficult to maintain.
“Science tells us that face coverings can help to control the spread of the virus so to avoid a rise in cases and to help to protect our NHS, the Welsh Government should act swiftly to extend the mandatory use of face coverings here in Wales.”
Adding to the call, Shadow Health Minister Andrew RT Davies MS said: “The rise in Covid cases in North Wales is extremely concerning and it’s scary for people going into hospital or using other healthcare settings that they might not be as safe.
“To protect the most vulnerable in our society it makes sense that people should be required to wear face coverings in hospitals, GPs offices, and care homes.
“Together we can beat this virus, whilst protecting lives and livelihoods.”
The Welsh Government has previously said that scientific advice does not support face coverings being used more widely.
In a Q&A on its website, the government claimed wearing them gave people “a false sense of security”.
It said: “At the present time, the widespread use of masks by healthy people in the community is not supported by high quality scientific evidence.
“Social distancing and hygiene measures remain the most effective measures for reducing transmission of COVID-19.
“The World Health Organisation is recommending, though, that as part of the wider range of measures to prevent transmission, three-layer face coverings should be encouraged in situations where social distancing and hygiene measures are difficult to maintain.
“There is evidence to suggest that the wearing of face coverings gives people a false sense of security which makes them less careful about social distancing and handwashing.
“We know that these measures are the most effective way to reduce transmission of the virus, and don’t want to do anything that might lead to a reduction of those measures being observed.”
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