Doctors in Wales say face masks should be worn in areas where the people cannot socially distance. The British Medical Association in Wales are calling on the Welsh Government to change their position on face coverings.

At the beginning of May, Wales’ Chief Medical Officer confirmed he would not be recommending the compulsory wearing of face coverings saying it should be a matter of "personal choice".

BMA Cymru Wales council chair, Dr David Bailey said:

“BMA Cymru Wales advocates the wearing of face coverings by the public in areas where they cannot socially distance.

“There still remains a considerable risk of infection, and emerging evidence has shown that if mouths and noses are covered when people are in areas where they cannot socially distance, it may help in in controlling the spread of infection of COVID-19 and therefore save lives.

“BMA Cymru Wales is calling on Welsh Government to change their position immediately, to lessen the risk of the public spreading the virus.

Plaid Cymru want the Welsh Government to encourage the use of face masks in public spaces. Credit: PA Images

The doctor's association are calling on the Welsh Government to supply face coverings for the public as many people may not have the capacity to make them or buy them.

Dr David Bailey said: “Further, we are calling on Welsh Government to ensure a supply of face coverings for the public, similar to practices in other nations, as there will be circumstances where many individuals may not have the capacity to make them or may be unable to procure them when needed. It is sensible that these face coverings are not the same as the medical-grade masks which must be reserved for frontline staff whose job is dependent upon having them for adequate protection.

“The public must be informed and educated on how and when to use face coverings properly and it must be made clear to the public that this does not reduce the need and importance of continued adherence to social distancing and proper hand hygiene.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford has previously said there was only a "marginal public health case" for non-medical face coverings, and that while people should wear them if it gave them "confidence", he would not be making their use mandatory. Speaking at Friday's press conference, Mr Drakeford said he won't be rushing into an immediate decision on wearing face mask in public.

Plaid Cymru have repeated their calls to the Welsh Government to encourage the use face coverings.

Rhun ap Iorwerth, Plaid Cymru MS and Shadow Minister for Health and Care, wants them to follow the latest scientific evidence on face coverings, and to encourage the public to wear masks in certain enclosed public spaces.

The Welsh Government must pay close attention to the emerging science and take on board evidence that can help keep people in Wales safe. The case for the universal face coverings in higher risk public spaces, such a supermarkets, is becoming stronger. I believe Welsh Government should respond and adapt their strategy, moving to active encouragement of the use of face coverings

Rhun ap Iorwerth, Shadow Minister for Health

Grant Shapps, the UK Transport Secretary, has already announced the wearing of face coverings will be compulsory on public transportin England from June 15.