Today’s chaos in Government’s stance regarding face masks was further exacerbated by Jacob Rees-Mogg, a minister who rebuked Jacob Rees–Mogg for arguing Tory MPs shouldn’t have to wear coverings in Parliament.
Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, sparked a row by suggesting that ministers and MPs wear face masks in the crowded Commons.
Yesterday, Mr Rees Mogg claimed that they are unnecessary because Tory MPs know each other’s’ and have an ‘intimate, fraternal spirit.
Downing Street refused to support Mr Javid, insisting on the fact that masks are a matter for ‘personal judgment’.
Gillian Keegan, the Care Minister, has now called out Mr Rees Mogg. She said that ‘everybody understands that you can get Covid form anybody’.
Gillian Keegan, the Care Minister, stated today that everyone knows that anyone can get Covid from anyone.
Her comments were made in response to Jacob Rees Mogg, Commons Leader of Tory MPs, who suggested that Tory MPs didn’t need to wear masks in the chamber since they ‘know one another’
Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, suggested earlier this week that MPs wear masks in the packed Commons. The chamber was pictured on Wednesday
Current guidelines in England recommend that you wear masks when you are in enclosed spaces or crowded areas where you may come into contact with people who you don’t usually meet.
On Wednesday, Mr Javid, Health Secretary, called for Tories to show leadership and conceal their identities to avoid Covid restrictions being reimposed.
Number 10 was surprised Mr Javid made the call and declined to follow his advice.
Mr Rees-Mogg was grilled on the subject in the Commons yesterday, replying: ‘There is no advice to wear facemasks in workplaces.
“The advice about crowded places is to surround yourself with people you don’t know.” This side knows each other.
The Commons Leader said that “we on the other side have a more convivial and fraternal spirit and therefore are following Her Majesty’s government’s lead.”
Sky News asked Ms Keegan this morning if a “convivial, fraternal spirit” would help prevent people from contracting coronavirus.
She said: ‘No, everybody knows that you can get Covid from anybody.’
One of the measures in the Government’s “Plan B” is the return of mandatory face covers in certain settings.
Ministers have been urged to implement this plan by health officials amid fears of a crisis in the NHS, as Covid-19 case numbers continue to rise.
Ministers are refusing to pull the trigger on the plan and insisting that they remain focused on the vaccination rollout.
Ms. Keegan responded to a question about the downsides of mandatory face masks. Some people do find mask wearing difficult.
“It is a personal decision, but most of us are wearing masks. Many Tube users are wearing masks.
“It seems like winter is getting more colder, so I have been wearing a mask to keep my cough at bay. A cough is socially unacceptable. It makes you feel terrible.
Ms Keegan claimed that “we are not the type of country which tells you what to wear”, but she appeared to go beyond Number 10 when she stated that the Government expects people who wear masks to do the right thing.
She said that everyone knows the pros and cons. We spent 18, 19 months educating ourselves. So, we all know what to accomplish.
It is not the Government’s responsibility to make it mandatory. It is part of Plan B, and it is there as a back-up.
“But we expect people to do the right things and most people are doing it.”