Face masks in office 'being considered', minister admits

FACE masks for staff in offices are "being considered", a Government minister has admitted.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said that making face masks mandatory "does have some benefit" as the list of places they must be worn has grown to try and stop the spread of coronavirus.

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Mr Jenrick said yesterday: "It does have some benefit.

"So, I'm sure, as with other things, that will be taken into consideration by the Health Secretary and the chief medical officer, but we don't have a plan today to take action in that respect."

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, had previously ruled out making face masks in offices compulsory.

He said earlier this year: "No, that isn't going to happen, and the reason is that in offices you tend to spend a lot of time with the same people, and so the way to stop the spread of the virus in offices is to have social distancing, either two metres or one metre plus mitigations in place."

But the PM said people who work in cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs and shops must now all wear face masks.

And people who go out for a bit to eat or a drink have to wear a mask when not sitting down at a table.

The fine for failing to wear a face masks where they are compulsory have been doubled to £200 for a first offence.

Some offices have already asked their employees to wear face masks without a Government directive, Mr Jenrick said.

Transport for London have only fined 400 people since it was made a legal requirement to cover up on public transport.

Fines of up to £6,400 can be imposed for a sixth offence.

Ministers in Scotland have also met to discuss making face masks compulsory in offices.

 

 

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