Covid: GB News poll suggests most will not wear masks after Freedom Day

People wearing face masks watch a street entertainer in Covent Garden
People wearing face masks watch a street entertainer in Covent Garden

More than 37,000 people cast their vote shortly after Boris Johnson promised to tear up England’s coronavirus regulations

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A GB News poll ran on our Twitter page has revealed the majority of you would not wear a face mask if it was not a legal requirement.

More than 37,000 people cast their vote shortly after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to tear up England’s coronavirus regulations.

The Government’s top scientists have pledged to wear face masks in some situations as Boris Johnson said they would become voluntary from July 19 across England.

England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said he would wear a mask “under three situations, and I would do so, particularly at this point when the epidemic is clearly significant and rising.”

He told a Downing Street briefing: “The first is in any situation which was indoors and crowded, or indoors with close proximity to other people.”

He said he would also do so if he was asked by any “competent authority” and thirdly, as a “common courtesy” if others felt uncomfortable.

The Government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said: “I’m exactly the same in terms of mask-wearing.”

Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty during a media briefing in Downing Street
Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty during a media briefing in Downing Street

It comes as the Prime Minister told the briefing he would wear a mask in crowded places and as a matter of courtesy, but stressed that in situations such as sitting alone in a train carriage, “people should be entitled to exercise some discretion”.

Charities representing those with weakened immune systems have expressed dismay that people will be able to ditch face masks in England.

The MS Society and Blood Cancer UK said the Government had offered no support plan for those still vulnerable to Covid-19, and the day did not mark “freedom day” for many.

Phillip Anderson, head of policy at the MS Society, said: “Emerging evidence shows vaccines may not work as well for people with suppressed immune systems, including some living with MS.

“This is especially concerning given many of the same people are defined by the Government as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ to Covid-19.

“Yet as the country prepares to take less precautions, the Prime Minister has failed to make clear how those most at risk will be supported to stay safe.

“It is imperative the Government ensures vulnerable people are not pressured to stop working from home, as well as ensuring they can get food and medical care without facing crowded shops or hospitals unnecessarily.

“Clinically extremely vulnerable people should also be able to view the most up-to-date assessment of risks to give them much-needed reassurance that this next phase will be safe for them.”

The result of the GB News poll shows that 72% of people would not wear a face mask if it was no longer a legal requirement.