British Medical Association calls for government to make masks compulsory ...

Face masks should be made compulsory inside offices to halt a devastating second wave of coronavirus, leading medics warned today.   

Boris Johnson announced yesterday that all staff in retail and hospitality will have to wear face coverings, as part of the latest suite of lockdown restrictions. 

But the British Medical Association (BMA) said today it was 'illogical' for this rule not to have been enforced over summer when shops, restaurants and pubs first reopened.

The doctors' union said the new rules were not tough enough to prevent a devastating second wave and is now calling for all indoor work places to have mandatory face coverings. 

It also blasted ministers for hurrying staff back to offices and actively encouraging workers to ditch working from home at a time when cases were rising - rhetoric which the Government has now U-turned on.

BMA chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: 'The BMA has consistently argued that it was illogical for staff not to be required to wear facemasks in shops, pubs and restaurants as customers are, so we're pleased to see this belatedly coming into force. 

'However, given that the infection is equally like to spread in all indoor settings, these rules should also apply to offices and other workplaces.'

Dr Nagpaul's comments come after two prominent scientists on the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) criticised the latest lockdown guidelines for not going far enough. 

Face masks should be made compulsory inside offices to halt a devastating second wave of coronavirus , leading medics warned today (file)

Face masks should be made compulsory inside offices to halt a devastating second wave of coronavirus , leading medics warned today (file)

Professor John Edmunds, an infectious disease expert from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, warned action was not taken quickly enough back in March and that 'mistake' is about to be repeated because the new rules are too lax. 

And Professor Robert West, a health psychologist at University College London and member of SAGE, added: 'Closing early will have some impact but I don’t think it will be anything like enough, even with the other measures announced, to stop the increase.'

Dr Nagpaul called on the Government to do more to help employers make workplaces Covid-secure when home working is not possible, and to cut the number of people permitted to meet indoors.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of council at the British Medical Association (BMA), said the latest lockdown restrictions in England are not tough enough to prevent a devastating second wave

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of council at the British Medical Association (BMA), said the latest lockdown restrictions in England are not tough enough to prevent a devastating second wave

'The Prime Minister missed an opportunity today to revise the 'rule of six' which, as currently interpreted, allows members of six different household to meet indoors whereas previously members of only two households could do so,' he said.

'Data suggests that transmission between households is by far the biggest driver of infection and this should therefore be rectified at the earliest possible opportunity.' 

Yesterday Boris Johnson imposed a 10pm curfew on all restaurants, bars and pubs across England from Thursday with the hospitality sector also being restricted to table service only.

A requirement to wear face coverings will be extended to include retail workers and customers in indoor hospitality settings, except for when they are seated at a table to eat or drink.

He also announced the end of the Government's back to work drive as he said he is now 'asking office workers who can work from home to do so'.

The Government has been actively encouraging workers to ditch working from home and yesterday's U-turn represents a humiliating climbdown for the PM who earlier this month had told his Cabinet that 'people are going back to the office in huge numbers across our country and quite right too'.

The BMA also wants to see the public given more information about infection rates in their areas, making it as easy to look up as the weather or pollen count.

Professor John Edmunds, an epidemiologist from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, warned that the Government has not learnt the lessons from March

Professor John Edmunds, an epidemiologist from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, warned that the Government has not learnt the lessons from March

Scientists at war over new lockdown rules 

Britian's top scientists have traded blows over whether Number 10's latest coronavirus rules have gone far enough.

Two SAGE advisers criticised the Government for not going far enough with their latest suite of lockdown rules.

Professor John Edmunds, an infectious disease expert from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, warned action was not taken quickly enough back in March and that 'mistake' is about to be repeated because the new rules are too lax. 

And Professor Robert West, a health psychologist at University College London and member of SAGE, added: 'Closing early will have some impact but I don’t think it will be anything

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