He wants the government to amend the law to make this mandatory, as it has already done after disagreements among ministers over their approach – for these other contexts.
“The BMA is clear that face covers should be mandatory in all situations where a physical distance of more than 2 meters is not possible. It makes no sense that the government has introduced a measure for shops and public transport, while other interior spaces, including GP practices, are exempt.
“This virus is just as contagious in an office as in a store or on a bus,” said Dr Richard Vautrey, chairman of the BMA’s general practitioner committee.
“Practice teams do all they can to protect staff and patients, and allow physical distancing where they can. However, given the layout of many practice buildings, this is simply not possible for everyone, and clear government rules would ensure consistency, avoid confusion, and go some way in minimizing spread among patients and the staff.
“If the government is serious about reducing the spread and avoiding a potentially devastating second wave, it must end its illogical and piecemeal approach to this issue now,” he added.
There are now different policies in place regarding face masks in hospitals and doctor’s offices. The government also said last month that all hospital staff, as well as anyone visiting a hospital, should cover their faces, but has not sought to extend the same approach to visitors to general practitioners’ offices.