On the 1st of June 2022, NHS England issued further guidance regarding the use of face masks in clinical settings. In what could be – optimistically – construed as further progress towards the Government’s ‘Living with covid’ goal, this latest official briefing directs hospitals and other care settings to end the requirement for staff, patients and visitors to wear face coverings in most wards and departments.
The evidence that masking healthy people in community settings reduces viral transmission is – at best – weak and contradictory. In light of this lack of empirical support for the effectiveness of face coverings, together with the multiple harms associated with them, HART welcomes the lifting of all mask mandates in the UK.
Mask mandates in high-school age children were continued in Scotland in the Autumn 2021 school term. At the same time in England, masks were made optional. We can compare the difference in case counts in both countries and see the effect of this difference in policy.
It would seem that Nadhim Zahawi’s most recent promised ‘material’ evidence for his recommendations for face coverings in secondary classrooms is as flimsy as some of the cloth masks our teenagers will need to resort to using.
17 June 2021 – This week, Boris Johnson squandered the opportunity to remove all the remaining COVID-19 restrictions, extending the mask and social distancing requirements until, at least, 19 July.
3 June 2021 – The 15 June will be the first anniversary of England’s mask mandate, 12 months on from the introduction of the unprecedented requirement for healthy people to wear face coverings.
27 May 2021 – The masking of healthy people in community settings is unlikely to reduce viral transmission, but has led to, and is maintaining, a range of profound social and psychological harms.
By Dr Gary Sidley Retired Clinical Psychologist and Dr Alan Mordue Retired Consultant in Public Health Medicine & Epidemiologist Whilst masks are a successful psychological tool to remind the public to remain alert, they are not effective in preventing the community spread of disease. In the summer of 2020, mandates were introduced to compel healthy […]