Coronavirus in Scotland: Masks in workplaces and schools ‘not ruled out’

Professor Linda Bauld spoke on BBC Radio Scotland on Thursday morning.

Making people wear masks in workplaces should not be ruled out in Scotland and could be considered in secondary schools to help keep them open, a public health expert has said.

South of the border, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said ministers are not considering making face coverings compulsory in England’s workplaces after France announced plans to do so.

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In Scotland masks are compulsory in many indoor settings including shops, on public transport and in places such as cinemas, galleries, museums. libraries and banks.

Professor Linda Bauld said they could be considered in other settings if levels of coronavirus go up.

Asked in an interview on BBC Radio Scotland whether introducing face coverings in workplaces should be considered north of the border to allow more people to get back to work, she said: “We’re not at that point yet.

“I don’t think we should rule it out. I think if cases go up and we need particular settings to reopen that can’t, for whatever reason, face coverings indoors absolutely, but at the moment those sectors that can work from home – that’s the message that I agree with – should continue to do that.”

Prof Bauld, who is professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, said the virus is at a “very low level in terms of where we are in Scotland” and that while it is circulating it is localised in terms of the rise in cases.

She said the best way to protect schools is to keep virus levels low, but that face coverings could be considered for secondary school pupils to avoid having to pause education.

Reporting by PA

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