Cambridge scientists say wearing face coverings will be necessary long after lockdown

  • Watch Victoria Lampard's full report here

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have suggested that wearing face masks will be necessary long after lockdown.

Despite the successful vaccination programme, as lockdown lifts, their work has shown the need to continue wearing face coverings, washing our hands and social distancing to achieve a better outcome.

Staff at the Suffolk Food Hall say they hope not to have to wear masks for too much longer. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Leaving the house with a face mask is something we've all got used to this past year.At the Suffolk Food Hall, it's now considered part of the uniform, but they hope it won't be for too much longer.

For shoppers at the Suffolk Food Hall, wearing a face covering has also become the norm.

Other research in Cambridge is also looking at the long term use of masks.

Addenbrookes Hospital has been involved in creating a design that aims to make masks more acceptable, and it's hoped it will improve communication.

In other countries, like Spain, new rules have made it mandatory to wear a face mask in all public places, where previously people could remove them as long as they kept their distance.

There's no indication that's going to happen here but with crowds flocking to seaside towns like Southend to enjoy this warm weather, we're being warned to be sensible.

Southend beach Credit: ITV News Anglia

But how long are people prepared to follow the advice? Recent protests have shown that many people are no longer willing to accept Covid rules.

Last weekend up to 30 people entered a supermarket in Chelmsford without wearing masks. When asked by staff to put one on, they refused:

The government's roadmap doesn't give any date on when masks may be downgraded from mandatory, but it's clear many scientists believe they will have an important role to play in our long term fight against the virus.

Earlier today ITV News Anglia's Jonathan Wills spoke to Essex's Chief Constable, BJ Harrington, about the job officers will have this bank holiday weekend to make sure people stick to the current guidelines. You can watch the full interview below:

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