Coronavirus POLL: Should all Britons be forced to wear a face mask? VOTE | UK | News

Sir Patrick Vallance, Britain’s Chief Scientific Advisor, signalled a possible U-turn on masks, which up until now have not been mandatory for members of the public. The government has in the past insisted there is no scientific evidence that backs up claims masks protect people from being infected. On Monday a UK-based scientist with the World Health Organisation (WHO) said people should wear masks as the virus would “stalk the human race” for some time.

Dr David Nabarro said masks covering the nose and the mouth would provide “reassurance” for millions of Britons as the viral disease spreads.

This morning Nigel Farage weighed into the debate on mandatory masks.

Speaking on LBC radio, the leader of the Brexit Party said wearing masks would be price Britons should expect to pay for the lockdown being lifted.

The former MEP backed up Dr Nabarro’s warning to UK inhabitants, saying the wearing of masks in public places could become the new norm.

But he said the country had arrived “last to the party” when it came to protective measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Mr Farage said: “It is possible that at some point in the next few months this virus dies out as many flu viruses do, and we can all go back to the way we were before and life carries on as normal.

“But there are viruses such as the common cold which have been around forever and for which we don’t as yet have a cure of any kind.

“It’s quite possible that this particular virus is in that category.

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“And if it turns out that this virus simply won’t disappear then it may well be a revolution in the way in which we live, not a desirable one, but it may have to be the way we learn to live with COVID-19.”

He added: “But as ever, with everything in this crisis, the British the last to the party.”

As Spain slowly lifts its lockdown in a bid to revive its economy, police officers have been sent to metro and railway stations to hand out masks.

Authorities fear a second wave of coronavirus, which cannot be ruled out.

People working in manufacturing, construction and some services are being allowed to return to work.

However, they must abide by strict safety guidelines.

Spain’s policy could be a model on which the UK could base its exit from the lockdown.

But with UK hospitals and care homes reporting a shortage of personal protective equipment including masks, it is unlikely there would be enough to go around if the public were required to wear them.

The government is expected to extend the UK lockdown by a further three weeks in the coming days.

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