Tue 30 Jun, 2020

Germany made face coverings mandatory in April. Scotland needs to do the same to protect our shop workers and the wider public Alison Johnstone

Scotland should follow 50 other countries by making face coverings mandatory in shops, the Scottish Greens have said.

This includes countries that have been most effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 such as Germany, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea.

Currently face coverings are mandatory on public transport but remain ‘recommended’ in shops and other indoor spaces. A single easy-to-communicate rule could massively increase usage, Scottish Green health spokesperson Alison Johnstone has said.

The call comes after Scots flocked to high street shops on the day they reopened.

Alison Johnstone said: “Face coverings help save lives, yet in images and footage of the shops reopening this week, the majority of people appear not to be wearing masks. Many supermarkets still haven’t provided coverings for their staff.

“The message clearly isn’t getting through, even though scientific studies published as far back as March have made clear that face coverings help prevent the wearer spreading the virus.

“Mixed messages haven’t helped. It makes no sense that we have one rule for public transport and another for shops when the risks are similar.

“Germany made face coverings mandatory in April. Scotland needs to do the same to protect our shop workers and the wider public. A clearly explained rule would be easier to communicate to people and help prevent a second wave of COVID-19.”

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