Downing Street defends Boris Johnson following claims he did not wear mask during Macbeth theatre outing

Prime Minister Boris Johnson “follows all Covid rules” Downing Street has insisted after reports emerged that he attended a performance of Macbeth without wearing a mask.

The Guardian said an audience member at the Almeida theatre saw Mr Johnson without his mask on at all times during Tuesday’s performance, while another had seen him maskless in a public area of the north London venue.

On its website the theatre urges patrons to wear a face covering during their visit unless eating or drinking.

Mask wearing regulations in England were dropped by the Government in the summer but some transport networks are continuing to enforce their use as a condition of carriage, while some venues and shops still recommend they are worn.

Mask wearing regulations in England were dropped by the Government in the summer

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Asked by reporters on Wednesday why the Prime Minister was “not wearing a mask” during the performance, Mr Johnson’s press secretary said: “The PM follows all Covid rules.”

She repeated the answer when asked why the theatre’s request for patrons to have a face mask on was allegedly not complied with.

In a statement on the Almeida’s website, it states: “We ask all our visitors to continue to wear a face covering while in the theatre, unless exempt or when eating or drinking.

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“You may be reminded of this on entry to the building, however this will not be enforced.”

The Guardian said a witness had seen Mr Johnson put his mask “back on at the end as the lights went up” at the end of the Shakespearean tragedy.

It is not the first time this month that the Prime Minister has been accused of failing to comply with mask wearing regulations.

He was previously criticised for not wearing a mask while sitting next to 95-year-old broadcaster and environmental campaigner Sir David Attenborough at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow and while greeting hospital staff during a visit to the North East.

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Earlier this week, the Prime Minister said the Government saw no need to introduce fresh Covid-19 restrictions despite rising cases across much of Europe saying: “You have got to be humble in the face of nature but at the moment we see nothing in the data to say that we need to move from plan A to plan B, or any other plan.