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About the Royal Society

Venki Ramakrishnan responds to Health Secretary’s statement on face coverings

14 July 2020

Responding to the Health Secretary’s statement in the House of Commons confirming face coverings will be compulsory in shops and supermarkets in England from Friday July 24, Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said:

“If we want to avoid disruptive lockdowns and limit a potential second wave of COVID-19 we need to use whatever tools we have to limit the spread of infection.  So it is good news that the Government is going further on face coverings by requiring them in shops. This can help reduce transmission, alongside keeping your distance and hand washing. Many other countries have shown the vast majority of the public are happy to adopt simple habits, like wearing face coverings when given clear information about how and when to do so. These simple steps protect us all – including individuals who cannot wear face coverings for medical reasons. If we want to keep seeing family and friends and get the economy moving, wearing a face covering in a shop seems a relatively small price to pay.”

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