Compulsory face masks

Many other countries made face masks in public compulsory very early on whilst seeing extremely low numbers of cases. Why is the UK so opposed to making face masks necessary in public, closed spaces such as public transport, offices, shops, etc. These can be simple face coverings, not taken away from NHS. It would make people more comfortable to be outside, although shouldn't be substitute for social distancing. It will only work if everyone wears them to minimise the spread of droplets (coughs and sneezes).

Why the contribution is important

When used by everyone, these could have an effect on minimising the spread. It's been done elsewhere and would make people more comfortable being outside the house.

by JR17 on May 07, 2020 at 07:59PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 2.7
Based on: 15 votes


  • Posted by lcraik May 07, 2020 at 20:23

    Needs to be focused only on transport and cities, not where it does not matter: the demand on masks required would be too great and mat be disproportionate to real need
  • Posted by angelamcd May 07, 2020 at 20:58

    think its a great idea and i dont personally see a problem ,i for one have purchased a mask from etsy ,and am helping a small business by doing this .
  • Posted by jennyw May 07, 2020 at 21:04

    No one should be forced to wear a mask, rather we should be encouraged to do so in public. It is best it is done voluntarily. Any face covering would do. There are plenty tutorials on line how to make one. They are not full proof but a barrier non the less.
  • Posted by Stewart20 May 07, 2020 at 21:24

    If it makes someone comfortable fair enough. It would not make me comfortable. There is a lot of debate about their effectiveness, particularly home made face masks. There are also concerns about face coverings increasing likelihood of people touching their faces to readjust them. There are also concerns about them causing false sense of security leading to neglect of more proven methods for stopping spread i.e. hand hygiene. Should not be made compulsory.
  • Posted by Alotman May 07, 2020 at 22:25

    Whatever we can do to reduce the spread makes sense.
  • Posted by DaveB53 May 07, 2020 at 22:38

    It should only be a requirement where it is difficult to maintain social distancing such as on public transport.
  • Posted by Ianw22 May 08, 2020 at 07:20

    Not a good idea, people not used to wearing them won’t use the mask or covering correctly. At present you see people wearing them only to cover their mouth not their noise.
  • Posted by HillyR May 08, 2020 at 07:22

    Surely if everyone wore a mask in public if would cut the rate of infection. I know masks are supposed to protect others, rather than the wearer, but if everyone wore one then everyone would be protected by a considerable amount if not 100%, possibly 70% which must be a good thing.
  • Posted by truescot May 08, 2020 at 08:06

    People cannot resist touching their face masks, moving it, pulling it down to speak or for a smoke, etc. Just watch those around you and on the TV that wear them. Each of these actions is an opportunity to spread the virus to the hands and then contaminate shared surfaces. I've never seen anyone outside of a hospital setting sanitising their hands after touching a face mask/covering, and it is clear that any reminder to do so has failed. There is scientific evidence that they encourage higher risk-taking by the wearer, outweighing any potential benefit to those around a non-symptomatic carrier.
  • Posted by lovemachine May 08, 2020 at 08:20

    The wearing of masks indoors is recommended but not mandatory or enforceable. The government should provide firm guidance to the public on this point. At the moment, I am wearing a face covering when in shops but I am very much in the minority. Unless told, people do not want to be the only one in a shop wearing one. If wearing a mask is beneficial, not to the wearer but to those that come in contact with, then perhaps we should make it mandatory for all shop asistants to wear masks. At least where they are not screened from the public.
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