Sir Keir Starmer has said mask wearing should continue as he accused Boris Johnson of being ‘reckless’ for lifting all remaining Covid restrictions at once.
Yesterday the Prime Minister unveiled plans for England’s long awaited ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19, which will see an end to the vast majority of coronavirus rules. There will be no more limits on social contact or capacity caps for large events and pubs will no longer be restricted by table service.
Requirements to wear face coverings will be lifted – but guidance will suggest people might choose to do so in ‘enclosed and crowded places’.
As the law is lifted, Johnson urged people to instead ‘exercise their personal responsibility’. In response to the PM’s announcement, the Labour leader said masks should continue to be mandatory in ‘enclosed spaces and on public transport’.
Sir Keir noted the rapidly rising infection rates as he issued perhaps his most critical response to Johnson’s coronavirus plans yet. He told reporters: ‘To throw off all protections at the same time when the infection rate is still going up is reckless.
‘We need a balanced approach, we need to keep key protections in place, including masks, including ventilation and crucially, something we’ve been asking for through the pandemic, proper payments to those who need to self-isolate.’