Sadiq Khan calls for mandatory face masks on public transport to combat coronavirus

Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan
Victoria Jones
Gareth Milner

By Gareth Milner

Published: 29/10/2021

- 09:01

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:44

Mr Khan also called for Londoners to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and the flu to protect the NHS this winter

London mayor Sadiq Khan has urged the Government to make face coverings mandatory on public transport as the UK continues to average more than 40,000 confirmed coronavirus cases a day for over a week.

The Government has so far been resistant to bringing in so-called Plan B measures, which would see the reintroduction of mandatory facemasks indoors along with guidance to work from home and the use of Covid passports.

Mr Khan called for Londoners to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and the flu to protect the NHS this winter.

He said in a statement the the “deadly virus has not gone away and this winter we’re facing both flu and Covid”.

“The worst thing we can do is to lower our guard, be complacent and underestimate the risk these viruses pose to all of us,” he added.

“The situation with Covid-19 in the capital is so finely balanced that it needs all of us to act together to protect ourselves, our loved ones, the things we enjoy and our NHS this winter.

“That’s why I’m urging all eligible Londoners to have the booster vaccine and flu jab as soon as you are offered it, continue to wear a mask where you can and am calling on the Government to put simple and effective steps, such as mandatory face coverings on public transport, in place to halt the spread of the virus now.”

The mayor’s comments came after a leading scientist suggested measures in Plan B may not be needed if data continues to show a decline in cases.

Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told a press briefing there is no apparent growth in case numbers but there is a continued rise in hospitalisations.

The Government on Thursday announced all remaining countries on England’s red list for international travel will be removed, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps saying Whitehall will also recognise coronavirus vaccines for arrivals from than 30 new countries and territories.

Wales advised it will adopt the same changes.

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