David Attenborough and the Queen should wear masks to promote their use, says scientific advisor

Olivia Petter
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David Attenborough and Queen Elizabeth II should wear masks in public to promote their use, a scientific advisor has said.

Professor Robert West, a member of the government’s SPI-B behavioural science advisory group, explained that role models should be utilised by the government in order to encourage the British public to wear masks in confined public spaces.

A new rule set to be imposed from 24 July will make it compulsory to wear face masks in shops. Currently, they are only compulsory on public transport.

But scientific advisors have expressed concerns that Britons won't abide by the rules.

On Monday the Independent Sage group concluded that masks should be made mandatory in indoor public spaces and called on the government to launch a campaign to ensure this is abided by the public.

Sir David King, its chairman, said: “The evidence is increasingly clear that face coverings have an important role in tackling the ongoing pandemic. Alongside any proposed legislation, it is essential that the government undertakes a comprehensive education campaign to ensure the proper use of masks."

Now, Professor West has added that the government should make the most of public figures and encourage them to wear masks in public.

“David Attenborough and the Queen, that’s who they want,” he said.

“I’m surprised how little use has been made of role models.”

Polls have shown that only one third of Britons regularly wear face coverings.

Professor Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the Royal Society, said that evidence has shown that face coverings are more effective than it was previously thought with regards to preventing the spread of Covid-19.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain on ITV, he said: “People have, since last week, been going about their business, going shopping. It gives people confidence.

“The best way to revive our economy is to prevent repeated disruptive lockdowns. These are disruptive economically but they’re also disruptive psychologically.

"The more tools we can throw at the problem to avoid disruptive lockdowns the better off we are.”

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