Tony Blair warns that Brits will only get back to work if everyone is made to wear masks

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Mr Blair this morning it would need a massive effort to mass produce masks for everyone – before they can head back to offices.

Tony Blair said earlier he could not see Brits going back to work without being made to wear masks

He told Sky News this morning: “I can’t believe people will be going back to work without wearing masks. You are going to need mass production of that.”

The former Labour PM added that the coronavirus outbreak is “the most difficult and complicated challenge I have ever seen in politics.”

He warned that although the medical advice on masks is mixed – they could have a role in making people feel more confident when lockdown measures are lifted.

Several European nations are now advising people where masks when they go outside, and the UK’s government’s SAGE group of scientists is expected to come up with new advice on them this week.

But No10 stressed earlier that no decision has yet been made.

Mr Blair added: “You can’t be conclusive about that yet, but if you look at the trends, look at the Asian trends particularly. In containment, masks have got a role to play. They will also make people feel more confident.

“You could lift these restrictions and find that people don’t feel safe enough.”

He added: “You’ve got say, restaurants could open up if they do X.Y and Z or some restaurants or we are going to experiment in this area – but if the public don’t feel that they are safe enough, like with opening schools, they are just not going to come.”

Today 100 leading doctors joined calls to change the advice on masks in the UK.

They are urging the public to either make, or buy online, their own reusable cotton masks and to wear them every time they leave the house during the pandemic.

The medics have since signed a letter saying they are “increasingly alarmed at official inaction over the need for the public to wear face masks”.

Their warning comes ahead of a meeting of the Government’s scientific advisers tomorrow to review evidence on whether masks should be mandatory.

The doctors are backing Masks4AllUK – a movement set up by medical professionals in the wake of the Government’s reluctance to make mass-wearing of facial masks compulsory.

Those who have signed the letter include John Ashton, a former president of the Faculty of Public Health, and Martin McKee, a professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The medics are advising people make “reusable cotton masks from simple items you can find in your house”, such as scarves or towels.

They say that doing this would not detract from surgical masks for the NHS and other key workers.

Scientists will this week decide whether to change the public advice on masks – like in some other countries

Last week London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for the public to wear face coverings on public transport.

He urged the Government to change advice and force everyone to cover up when they leave the house.

But ministers have refused to change the advice until experts decide to.

 

 

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