Britons Say They Value Masks as U.K. Ends Compulsory Wearing

Face masks sit on mannequins in a shop in Ashford, U.K. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Britons Say They Value Masks as U.K. Ends Compulsory Wearing

The British public continues to see value in the current health measures to slow the spread of coronavirus as the government prepares to end compulsory face coverings and social distancing on July 19.

Mask wearing is believed by 91% of adults to be important to tackling the disease, according to Office of National Statistics figures published Friday. Social distancing was ranked important by 87%. The figures cover the five days to July 4.

As the Covid-19 variant first identified in India continues to drive up infections, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is shifting from legaL enforcement of the rules to asking people to take personal responsibility for their wellbeing when remaining restrictions are lifted in 10 days.

The decision has drawn criticism from scientists and others who say that ending all curbs when millions of people are not fully immunized could prove disastrous.

The regime is stricter across Europe, with outdoor mask wearing only being lifted last month across Spain, Italy and France. However, masks remain compulsory indoors across Europe, with no plans to ease these measures as the delta variant takes hold on the continent.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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