Newark and Sherwood: Face masks may not be required in public places over the summer, says deputy chief medical officer
People may not be required to wear face masks in public places over the summer.
This was the suggestion of one of England's deputy chief medical officers when asked if face coverings would be mandatory in public after lockdown is fully lifted, subject to requirements, on June 21.
Dr Jenny Harries made the suggestion at a Downing Street news conference, following the announcement of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's roadmap to lifting coronavirus restrictions.
However, she suggested face masks may be needed in winter months.
Dr Harries said: "One of the things we know, of course, is doing things outside is ever so much safer than doing things inside — ventilation, we know, is really important.
"As we get into the autumn, when winter comes in and we spend more time inside, then again we may be looking at it.
"But it's quite possible over summer months, as we did last year when we see rates drop, that we would not need to be wearing masks all that time.
"Summer period is generally, we think, a much safer period for us with less need for interventions, but I think that doesn't rule it out as we go into winter periods again."
Dr Harries further advised children to keep socially distanced from their grandparents until the government is clear on the impact of vaccines on the virus.
She said: "Having got so far down the line with this and now on the roadmap, very, very carefully coming out, I would encourage children not to go off yet, even if their grandparents have had their vaccinations.
"Not to go hugging them too much until we're absolutely sure what the impact of that vaccine roll-out has been.
"I'm sure it's going to be positive but we just need to take a steady course through the roadmap."