Rishi Sunak declined to pledge to wear a mask inside a crowded House of Commons as a senior government science adviser said ministers were wrong in believing that vaccinations alone would keep blood levels down. Covid under control.
The Chancellor also reiterated that ministers did not yet believe it was necessary to switch to the government’s “plan B” for Covid over the winter, which would reintroduce the compulsory wearing of masks for overcrowded spaces, vaccine passports and more homework.
“At the moment, the data does not suggest that we should immediately switch to Plan B,” Sunak told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show. “But of course we’ll keep an eye on that. The plans are ready, we outlined them well in advance to make sure people know what the options would be for the winter, which we thought would be difficult. “
Sunak, who does not wear a mask in the Commons, dodged questions about whether it was the right thing to do in an often crowded and poorly ventilated room. He wore a mask in other settings, such as crowded trains, he said.
“The government’s directive is that people make decisions based on what they think is appropriate based on the circumstances in which they find themselves,” he said. “Each workplace will be different depending on the number of people present, the length of your presence, whether you know the people or not. “
This had been the government’s consistent line on the use of masks in the Commons, until Health Secretary Sajid Javid said last week that Tory MPs should lead by example in the use of masks. masks.