Are citizens instructed to wear masks?
The answer to that question is no. The advice of the government on this issue is extremely clear and quite lax, compared to a number of other countries. The advice is that people should cover their face with a homemade mask, not a bought one, in closed spaces where one cannot keep the two meters distance, such as some shops and on public transport. Masks, however, are not going to be recommended for use by the general public when they are outside, in the office or other workplaces, at school or when performing physical exercise.
Boris Johnson’s statement comes two weeks after the first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, suggested that the Scottish people wear a face mask in closed spaces, where one cannot strictly adhere to physical distancing measures.
Mark Drakeford, the first minister of Wales, declared that there simply is not enough evidence yet to warrant or advise against the use of face masks by the general public in Wales.
Why no mask?
There exists the fear that if people are advised to wear surgical masks, there would be a shortage of supplies for the people that need them the most, the workers in care and in health. This is partly why the World Health Organization does not endorse using masks. Shortages of respirators and masks have already occurred around the globe, even in the UK. People are now being advised to use scarfs as masks or make their masks from a discarded T-shirt, according to the Department of Health and Social Care. The other reason why it is not encouraged to wear masks is that people will think it not necessary to take the other precautions if they wear a mask, such as washing their hands and keeping away the necessary distance.