Mandatory Face Coverings in shops and public transport.

I believe that it is imperative as we ease any lockdown restrictions that we introduce mandatory use of face coverings In retail stores and transport which will aid with the reduction of the Rt when used in conjunction with continued social distancing and hand hygiene. I work in retail and although the Scottish government have recommended the use People aren’t getting it, they don’t understand the need for mass adoption for effectiveness. You are lucky if 10% of people are currently wearing them. We need a massive campaign to educate people on pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission and shedding. We need at least 80% uptake but I believe it should be mandatory apart from for those who have a genuine medical reason for not wearing one.

The fact that the word “weak” was used in the original briefing has meant that most people associate that with the result from wearing cloth Face Coverings in public. This is simply not the case. It is true that there have not been any RCT’s of wearing cloth face coverings.

It is also true that there have not been any RCT’s of hand washing and coughing and sneezing into your elbow during a pandemic but this is the advice that people have had and have been following for months now. It’s common sense. Much like mask/face covering use should be seen.

I truly believe this needs to be addressed and put right to enable us the Scottish people to get the maximum benefit and protection from the use of non medical masks in public settings like shops and transport, and as we start to ease restrictions this will become even more...

Essential, and covering our faces will be an extremely important intervention to reduce Rt in the coming weeks and months. But we as a country need to get this right. We need as many people as possible to use masks while in public places. 80%-95% would make a massive difference to transmission rates in public settings. But the messsge needs to get out there that “My Mask Protects You,Your Mask Protects Me”.

It needs to be seen as social etiquette to wear one in the “new normal” or if not it needs to be made mandatory because adoption will Save lives,it will reduce rates of transmission practiced alongside continued hand hygiene and social distancing,but it needs to be taken seriously&adhered to wherever possible.We all need to be in this thing together. We need to look out for each other, we need to care...

we need to think about the bigger picture. We need to be less Selfish we need to be more SCOTTISH.......

MY MASK PROTECTS YOU, YOUR MASK PROTECTS ME...... we can do it together.

Why the contribution is important

Ultimately it will drive down the Rt and stop as much transmission in the community. As I work in essential retail I know that social distancing is not possible in all areas and also not adhered to by all. Some people just do not care. We need to make it mandatory to save lives of the people of Scotland.

by RossCunningham on May 08, 2020 at 10:49AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.4
Based on: 58 votes


  • Posted by Evo May 08, 2020 at 10:53

    Agree. Let’s make them mandatory. Too many people not listening to the recommendations. Hardly anyone in my town wearing face coverings and it makes me feel at risk
  • Posted by DrT May 08, 2020 at 10:57

    I support this comment. However, masks would need to be easily available and affordable, possibly even free at point of entry to shops etc.
  • Posted by seventyplus May 08, 2020 at 11:01

    Face masks might not provide that much protection, either for the wearer or for others, but still worth requiring them: it's a pretty modest burden for most people, and would contribute to safety, even if only modestly. But if they are to be required, they must also be made readily, and cheaply, available.
  • Posted by ProudTeuchter May 08, 2020 at 11:05

    Our local shop was very 'militant' when it all kicked off... But when the guidance to wear masks/cover their nose and moth was issued, the staff decided not to bother!
    It does not need to be a 'mask' it can simply be a scarf.
  • Posted by KC209 May 08, 2020 at 11:06

    if people want to wear masks then fine but it should not be mandatory I personally would not pay for a mask and would feel claustrophobic if I had to wear one
  • Posted by RossCunningham May 08, 2020 at 11:11

    The government in Singapore has just given reusable cloth face masks to all of its citizens. Something like this In my mind would be a better initiative than disposable masks. Disposables would end up getting left everwhere meaning transmission risk. I've purchased two washable cloth masks online from a company called justlush and wear them at work and wash after use. But any face coverings whether homemade or bought would be massively beneficial. We should be encouraging online clothing retailers to make them fashion accessories with designs etc it should be encouraged to make them more acceptable to all.
  • Posted by ChaiApplePal May 08, 2020 at 11:15

    I dont agree with anything being mandatory. Peoples mental health is more's not a police state. Accurate information and educational are vital so that adult human beings can make an informed choice of their own.
  • Posted by MJAndrews May 08, 2020 at 11:16

    Redirect manufacturing that is in lockdown to design and produce face masks; +ve step to getting the economy going; +ve unemployment. Need to take a "war effort" to this crisis.
  • Posted by Rm89 May 08, 2020 at 11:16

    The virus is not airborne, short of someone coughing on you or using a powerful fan right in front of you and coughing in to it, it's difficult to directly spread it unless the person is already not following social distancing guidelines. The guidelines go far enough as is, and even then only certain facemasks are appropriate. Using a poor facemask will place the general public and workers in a false sense of security, which could be argued is worse than not following social distancing.
  • Posted by RossCunningham May 08, 2020 at 11:24

    There’s absolutely no evidence that wearing a face mask gives people a false sense of security or makes people think they are invincible. The point is you block 95% of the saliva droplets at source thus reducing transmission risk but it needs to have a large uptake to be effective. That’s why my mask protects others. As I’ve said I work in essential retail and I know that a large proportion of people DO NOT care or adhere to social distancing at all times. Which is why I believe it needs to be mandatory as we go forward. A little discomfort to save lives seems a small price to pay to me
  • Posted by Holafan May 08, 2020 at 11:34

    Although there is argument that masks do not help from catching the virus but it will help from spreading the virus. There might not be scientific evidence to show that mask helps but looking at other countries without new confirmed cases now, wearing mask in public areas will help.
  • Posted by Mandy2752 May 08, 2020 at 11:38

    I totally agree Ross. People won't wear them because they either feel stupid or don't like been told what to do. I said from day one everyone should wear a mask or a scarf as some covering has to be better than no covering. I previously said a man coughed in my face. That was terrifying. And obviously the people still with the refusal to social distance makes it more essential.
  • Posted by swansonj87 May 08, 2020 at 12:16

    I think there would be some value in the government reiterating the advice and perhaps asking businesses to lead by example: making it mandatory for employees to wear masks for instance. Especially since our key workers, for example supermarket staff, are more vulnerable given their proximity to their co-workers and to the public.
  • Posted by RossCunningham May 08, 2020 at 12:43

    I would definitely support my employer making masks mandatory. It would be a start however it would not stop the spread sufficiently as the maths dont add up as the ratio of customers to staff is totally sqewed. It needs to be community wide. If I wear a cloth mask I still have around a 70% chance of catching the virus from someone with Covid. If the person with Covid wears the mask the risk to me without me wearing a mask is about 5%, if both myself and the Covid carrier are wearing a mask it is believed the risk of transmission goes down to about 1.5% while still following all other guidance. Social distancing, hand hygiene etc. It's a no brianer in my eyes to keep as many people safe as possible. I wouldn't normally be in favour of making anything mandatory but these are extenuating circumstances we need to think of everyone in the wider community and put it over our own feelings or objections to being told to do something as it will save libes. Surely that is the most important issue here?
  • Posted by deky1boy May 08, 2020 at 12:50

    I don't agree it should be mandatory. I'm more concerned that in a shop transfer or infection will be at the til where customer loads the purchases to salesperson, they handle it and return it to customer. Should also only be contactless payments.
  • Posted by Grc22 May 08, 2020 at 13:03

    I agree, although evidence is weak and does not necessarily protect you, having a widespread use of face coverings will limit spread, especially from asymptomatic spreaders or in the latent phase prior to symptoms developing. Hand hygiene and social distancing should also continue and the combination will hopefully limit spread. As the experts said- "what possible harm, if not potential good?"
  • Posted by Wulan19 May 08, 2020 at 13:06

    Was delighted when Sturgeon issued the recommendation for food shopping, such a shame people aren't taking it on board. Such a simple thing to do, and yes it just needs to be a cheap, possible home made, washable/ re-usable mask and the disposable kind. We are for the most part in lockdown so only need them when shopping and other limited situations. Please wear them fellow shoppers, or make them mandatory.
  • Posted by alileslie May 08, 2020 at 13:28

    Don’t agree on this being made mandatory - there is not enough evidence to show the wearing of masks is effective. The option is there for those who feel more comfortable wearing face coverings.
  • Posted by Zico May 08, 2020 at 13:50

    Face masks/coverings should NOT be made mandatory, there are members of society who may feel claustrophobic wearing one and may cause anxiety to the wearer.
  • Posted by PlasticJock May 08, 2020 at 13:54

  • Posted by RossCunningham May 08, 2020 at 13:57

    A few papers and comparisons for those who think there is not enough evidence to suggest this should be mandatory.

    Country by country comparison on trying to crush the curve. Face masks play a big part in all countries who are being successful at this......[…]/1258455696405868545?s=21

    Impact of population mask wearing on Covid-19 post lockdown. Babak Javid, Nathalie Q Balaban[…]/2020.04.13.20063529v1

    Trisha Greenhalgh(University of Oxford) Laying Straw Men to Rest[…]ic-laying-straw-men-to-rest

    All great reads and highlight exactly why this is such an important issue.
  • Posted by Shaggy May 08, 2020 at 14:42

    I agree with you totally Ross. The information said that wearing a face mask will minimise other people from being infected by you but won't protect you from them. Therefore it must follow that if others wore a mask then you would be at a lot less risk of being infected from them.
    As for the comment that someone might get anxious by wearing a mask- what is worse, wearing a mask or catching Covid19?
    I agree that wearing face covering, not necessarily a mask, should be mandatory in public places- public transport, supermarkets etc. I would go as far as to say if you aren't wearing a face covering then you shouldn't be allowed in.
  • Posted by Malcolm24 May 08, 2020 at 15:21

    A lot of sense here with well quoted evidence. In particular the Czech Republic results show the efficacy of non medical face masks. Yes face coverings need to be mandatory to achieve the public health benefit.
    If people are not happy please feel free to stay at home, go for open air walks and get someone to shop for you. Just do not board a bus, train or go in to a shop without one.
  • Posted by Margaret May 08, 2020 at 19:36

    in public areas where social distancing is an issue I think you should cover your face, even if it is a scarf or cloth covering. When going for a walk in open air with plenty of space, not really necessary.
  • Posted by mikecon May 08, 2020 at 19:56

    Agree completely. Important that supply of masks are readily available . They are difficult to acquire.
  • Posted by grace May 08, 2020 at 21:08

    I think face masks should be mandatory as the lockdown eases. It will give confidence to those who are nervous, as public areas become busier, because there is still varying advice on the airborne transmission ob the infection and there are many people who are still not careful in supermarkets about social distancing an push in front of other shoppers. It just takes one to oass it on.
  • Posted by HelenW May 08, 2020 at 21:42

    I agree that a cloth face covering should be mandatory in enclosed public spaces. I think it probably has to be made mandatory at this stage to achieve the result of enough people wearing them. To deal with the issue of people who find it produces breathing problems or other genuine difficulties I would suggest the same approach as with seat belts where people can request an exemption letter which they would need to carry with them to show if requested- people will only bother to obtain an exemption certificate if it is truly an issue for them. I don't think there needs to be any high bar of proof to obtain the exemption certificate ( and this needs to be done in a way that does not burden the medical service!)
  • Posted by RossCunningham May 10, 2020 at 09:54

    Helen that is a interesting idea regarding an exemption letter. I honestly can't see any other way to.reduce the spread when we open up a bit more than wearing face coverings. We've been in lockdown and the virus is still transmitting. It makes sense to make them Mandatory for the good of the whole nation.
  • Posted by Zaffarella May 11, 2020 at 15:22

    This position not supported by the WHO (healthcare workers only). Indeed thare may be risks attached to wearing them. First Ministers "advice" was heavily caveated - quite rightly.
  • Posted by jon98 May 11, 2020 at 17:17

    The encouragement of face coverings being worn in supermarkets etc should also be coupled with stressing that these would need to be washed every time after being used. Maybe people are put off wearing them for fear of infecting themselves with the face covering itself. This should definitely be mandatory when easing lockdown further, but appropriate hygiene when using these must also be made clear. Masks must also be made more available to the general population.
  • Posted by Jerry May 11, 2020 at 20:23

    The word ‘encouragement’ is very apt for the public use of face coverings. While face masks provide a benefit for the frontline workers in both preventing the spread and the reception of the virus, there has been much deliberation regarding the effectiveness of face coverings for the public. Face coverings may not be appropriate for everyone, causing discomfort or breathlessness but for the majority would it not be beneficial lessening the spread of the virus? If, as suggested, face coverings should not be touched by hand and need careful washing or disposal due to any virus particles adhering to them, it also follows that they may help to reduce the amount of virus entering the body or perhaps even prevent it. Touching comtaminated face coverings and then the eyes could provide a way in for the virus, so perhaps ‘encouragement’ to wear eye coverings, sunglasses perhaps, could help too.
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