People attending churches or other places of worship from tomorrow will have to wear a face mask – but will bizarrely be allowed to take it off to sing, it has emerged.
An exemption for ‘bonkers,’ which was confirmed today, has caused confusion. There are concerns that singing could increase the risk of Covid-19 spreading by moving droplets farther.
It means families who attend Christmas services in the coming weeks can remove their faces while they sing festive carols.
According to the new rules, shoppers will technically be allowed in supermarkets to take off their masks if they are singing.
As part of Plan B, the Prime Minister passed last night. Face covers will now be required in all public indoor venues starting tomorrow.
Fulham Boys School parents and teachers sing a Christmas hymn at St Paul’s Church London’s carol service on Monday. Some people wear masks, while others don’t.
This includes theatres, cinemas and places for worship. However, these venues do not include bars, gyms or restaurants. You can use masks in public transportation and shops.
Boris Johnson stated during the Downing Street press conference that singing would be exempted. More details are now available.
It was mostly understood that the rule could only be applied to churches where a face mask is required, but it can also be used to sing hymns.
Official guidance from the Government states that face-masking is legal in some indoor public venues. This will also apply to places of worship as well as other public areas.
“There are exceptions to the rule for people who lead a service, or give a reading. There is also a reasonable excuse exemption that allows someone to take a picture while singing, if necessary.
Twitter was confused today by this policy. David Oliver, one of the critics, stated that singing is a reason for removing a facial covering. Wear a mask to the church for prayers, but don’t forget your mask! It’s completely absurd, and has no scientific foundation.
Hannah Doit stated, “Surely singing produces more droplets of aerosol that travel further than simply breathing?” It is risky to remove a facial mask while singing. I’m not following the …? logic. Is there more nuance than what can be put in a tweet?
And Kay Morgan-Gurr tweeted: ‘When I heard masks in places of worship were to come back I was pleased – I thought I would manage at least one Christmas service. They are permitted to be removed to sing… I’m back in my box now.
Last month, the Government announced that there have been several cases of Covid-19 in various parts of the globe linked to adult choir performances and rehearsals as well as church congregations.
Officials pointed out, however that singing by adults can produce large drops of respiratory secretions which fall on surfaces less than two meters from the singer and smaller droplets that travel some distance.
The researchers also stated that singing or shouting loudly could produce twenty times more aerosol than normal speech.
However, officials today confirmed that the exemption from wearing a mask for singing is also applicable in other indoor environments.
When asked if a Tesco customer could remove their mask if singing in the store, the answer was yes.
Officials stressed that there had to be an excuse for singing in supermarkets, as this would violate the law.
According to the official spokesperson of Prime Minister, ‘I urge’, “as has been the case throughout this whole process, for people to behave responsibly and sensibly, which is exactly what our experience shows.”
He stated, “It’s all about finding the right balance.” It is essential to find the appropriate balance when deciding what restrictions and measures you want to put in place.
He said that the implementation of these measures was practical and sensible.
Downing Street said that shoppers would not be allowed to use a “reasonable excuse” to remove their masks in order to perform in supermarkets following the new Plan B rules.
According to the official spokesperson of Prime Minister, he stated: “We made it clear that there was a plausible excuse for anyone who wants to do so.
Although it would not be possible for me to tell, I believe it would be difficult to justify. We’ve already seen the responsible behavior of the public and these rules will be fair and balanced.
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, at a press conference held in Downing Street yesterday
“It may be up to the police, like it was during the pandemic.
This exemption shows that the new measures have their own peculiarities.
Even if someone isn’t eating or drinking, masks don’t have to be worn when the host hosts.
Under Plan B, people will be told to work remotely if possible starting next week. However Johnson stated that it is still possible to host Christmas parties.
However, the guidelines would not prohibit colleagues from gathering in a pub for their work.
Officials stated that there is nothing in the rules which would prevent colleagues from going to a pub for lunch. They stressed the importance of reducing transmission risk within the workplace as well as the commute.
The interpretation of the guidance will be left up to employees and employers.
The advice to workers is to not travel to the office if possible. It will help slow the spread Omicron.
Official spokesperson of the Prime Minister said that: “Obviously, we have been in such a position before. Employers and employees, however, have proven they are able to cooperate and create an agreement that recognises both business and individual needs and personal circumstances.
Also, it is understood that private church events aren’t required to wear masks as they don’t fall under the category of ‘public indoor venues’. Outdoor carol services would not need masks.
According to the government, vaccination passports will not be accepted at places of worship. They will only be available for events and nightclubs where large groups gather.
Face masks became compulsory in England starting November 30.
Since July 19, when the lockdown was officially lifted, this marked the beginning of face-mask restrictions.
Face masks on Transport for London’s network were required between those dates but not in accordance with law.
It was legal to travel by Tube with a mask on, but it could be illegal to do so after that.
Officials claimed that the November 30th event was not open to masks because masks make it impossible for you to drink or eat while in a mask.