The Welsh Government should issue guidance on the use of face masks when out in public, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Health Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth AM has said.
The Scottish government today recommended people cover their faces while in some enclosed public spaces – such as shops and public transport.
Stressing the need for the public to continue to stay at home to save lives, Mr ap Iorwerth said that in cases where being in enclosed spaces was unavoidable, such as in shops or on public transport, people need to know exacly how best to protect themselves.
The Shadow Health Minister said there was evidence that face coverings could help “reduce the risk of transmission between asymptomatic carriers”.
Mr ap Iorwerth added that we couldn’t relax restrictions before we are confident Governments are “taking the correct approach to protect the public”.
Downing Street say UK ministers were considering the scientific evidence for introducing similar advice.
Face masks are to become compulsory on public transport in Germany, and in supermarkets and pharmacies in Austria whilst residents in Lombardy in Italy must cover their nose and mouth when outside. The French government also plans to give out masks to the general public.
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Health Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth AM said,
“The kind of evidence presented by the Scottish Government on the wearing of face masks in enclosed public spaces will be available to Welsh Government too.
“People must continue to stay home to save lives and stick to the current restrictions and guidelines. There will, however, be times where that is impossible – when people are forced to enter an enclosed space such as shops or public transport.
“In those instances, the Welsh Government needs to be clear on the use face coverings to protect those around them – not surgical grade masks but coverings that could help reduce the risk of transmission between asymptomatic carriers. I’m seeing growing evidence that they CAN be beneficial, and would support guidance to that effect.
“We can’t even talk about relaxing restrictions before we are confident Governments are taking the correct approach to protect the public – that includes testing, tracing and isolating and issuing the most sensible guidance when it comes to face coverings.”