Matt Hancock says face masks won't be mandatory in offices and schools and admits guidance on funerals wasn't clear
Health Secretary Matt Hancock spoke to Lorraine today about the government’s latest advice on wearing face masks and admitted the guidance that was issued regarding funerals during lockdown wasn't clear enough.
Face masks will be mandatory in shops in England from July 24. When asked why the implementation of this new guidance wasn't immediate, the Health Secretary said: “The implementation is to give businesses ten days to get things organised but the advice from now, and has been for some time, that we recommend wearing a mask in shops and we are going to make it mandatory from the 24th July onwards. I think that gives people the clarity they have been seeking.”
Mr Hancock added that he doesn't expect face masks will be made mandatory in offices and schools: "The reason is, where a mask can be useful is when you are seeing someone for a short to medium time. If you are seeing them all day, like in an office together or for instance teachers in schools, we don’t think masks make much difference as you are in that space with the same people."
Lorraine also questioned the Health Secretary on the government's guidance regarding funerals during lockdown, which resulted in many families being unable to mourn the loss of their loved ones. Mr Hancock admitted that guidance should have been more clear, saying: “It was not the intention to stop very close family members going to funerals. That is how the guidance was interpreted."
"That obviously meant that we hadn’t written that guidance as clearly as we should have done. I saw that and we changed it and my heart goes out to everybody involved.”
Following the reopening of beauty salons, nail bars and tattoo studios in England earlier this week, Lorraine asked why women still couldn’t have certain treatments, like their eyebrows, done in salons. The Health Secretary responded: “A beard trim is quick and essentially defined as part of a haircut. So, I know that in all these rules we have had to bring in, they all have issues around the boundaries that have been complicated and people would have wrestled with all the way through.”