MIL-OSI UK Cities: Assembly wants to see consistent messaging on face masks

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Source: London Assembly

With COVID-19 restrictions set to end in England on July 19th, the London Assembly Health Committee has written to the Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid.  The letter highlights key findings and recommendations from its investigation on how to manage the ongoing challenge of COVID-19.

The Committee highlights the importance of consistent shared messages about the use of face coverings on all public transport in London.  

It also recommends that the Department for Health and Social Care releases the data it has used to drive the decision on the use of face coverings.

Some of the recommendations in the letter suggest the Department for Health and Social Care should:

  • Release the data that has driven the decision to make the use of face coverings on public transport a matter of personal responsibility rather than compulsory.
  • Work with the Mayor of London to agree consistent shared messages about the use of face coverings on all public transport in London.   
  • Request that Public Health England release the data on the infection and transmission rates of the Delta variant in schools.
  • Reassure the Committee that sufficient planning, preparation and supply of flu vaccines and COVID-19 booster jabs will be readily available for Londoners when required
  • Ensure that government messaging about opening up on 19 July supports the continued push to get Londoners double vaccinated as soon as possible.

Much of the information and recommendations in the letter were taken from the Health Committee meeting on 22 June.

Caroline Russell AM, Chair of the London Assembly Health Committee, said:

“Londoners need reassurance that future policies on the management of current and new variants will continue to provide protection and safeguards for their health and wellbeing.

The announcement from the Mayor regarding face masks on the TfL network is welcome, however, London has other travel operators apart from TfL and is also a major transport hub. We need to avoid confusion for passengers arriving into London, and people changing between services with different interpretations of the guidance and different rules. This lack of clarity will also make it hard for transport workers to enforce the rules. 

As we enter the next phase of the pandemic, it is crucial that we continue to receive clear and consistent public health messaging from national, regional and local Government.

We have asked the Secretary of State to appear before the Committee at his earliest convenience and hope he will be willing to consider our findings and release the information we have requested as soon as possible.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom