COVID-19: UK Minister Says Masks Will Become Personal Choice

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England will move into a period without legal restrictions where the public will have to exercise “personal responsibility” including on face masks, the housing secretary has said.

Robert Jenrick told the BBC’s Andrew Marr people would “come to different conclusions” over masks, but he trusted people “to exercise good judgement”.

All legal restrictions are expected to be lifted in England on 19 July.

The Scottish government said there would be an “ongoing need” for masks.

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A spokesperson said people could still be expected to wear face coverings on public transport and in shops even after other curbs lift in Scotland on 9 August.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are in charge of their own coronavirus rules. On face masks and other measures, the Westminster government is working with counterparts in the other nations on a UK-wide approach.

In Wales, minister Mick Antoniw said it was “moving to a stage where we are having increasing normality” with the next review of curbs due on 15 July.

Mr Jenrick said on Sunday he would like the whole union to move as one.

A further 24,248 Covid cases and 15 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were recorded in the UK on Sunday.

When asked on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show whether he was confident that all restrictions would end in England on 19 July, Mr Jenrick said: “It does look as if – thanks to the success of the vaccine programme – that we now have the scope to roll back those restrictions and return to a normality as far as possible.”

He said cases might continue to rise significantly as restrictions were eased.

“But we now have to move into a different period where we learn to live with the virus, we take precautions and we as individuals take personal responsibility,” he said.

When asked if the requirement to wear face masks in certain settings will definitely go, Mr Jenrick said: “I can’t make that commitment this morning because the prime minister will make an announcement in the coming days – it does look as if the data is in the right place.”

He urged people to get fully vaccinated and, when asked about travel, said the government was “still looking at the data” in terms of allowing those who have been double-jabbed to avoid quarantine when returning from amber list countries – but it was their objective.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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