No need for mandatory masks in the workplace, says Minister

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He said official data showed only a “relatively low” number of people had contracted Covid-19 at work. The Health Secretary made the comments after he was asked whether the UK would follow the lead of France and require face masks to be worn in all workplaces. Asked about the move in France, Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast: “We constantly look at the scientific advice and the answer here is we’re not considering doing that. The reason is the evidence from NHS Test and Trace for where people catch the disease is that very largely they catch it from one household meeting another household, usually in one of their homes.

“So it is that household transmission that is the root of passing on this virus.

“The amount of people who have caught it in workplaces is relatively low.”

But experts claimed the reason office transmission remained low was because most people worked from home for months and were continuing to stay out of offices.

Professor Paul Hunter, of the University of East Anglia, said: “If most office workers were still working at home until recently, or are even still working at home, then of course office based transmission isn’t going to feature in the statistics.

“For any situation to play an important part in transmission, the people have actually got to be in that situation.”

Keith Neal, an emeritus professor of infectious diseases at the University of Nottingham, said: “Working for home minimises you and your family’s risk from Covid-19 and flu.”

Last month two clusters were linked back to a call centre in Port Glasgow and a pharmacy in Greater Glasgow.

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