The Queen has been criticised for not wearing a mask on her first public residence outside a royal residence since lockdown. The monarch and her grandson, the Duke of Cambridge, visited the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down near Salisbury yesterday, 15 October, and neither were seen with face coverings.
Buckingham Palace says that medical advice was sought and implemented prior to the visit. Dstl said it had tested all 48 people who were due to come into contact with the royal visitors and all had tested negative for Covid-19. It is understood that Prince William also tested negative before coming into contact with his grandmother.
Social distancing measures were also observed throughout the engagement.
A palace spokesperson said: “Specific advice has been sought from the medical household and relevant parties, and all necessary precautions taken, working closely with Dstl.”
Face coverings are mandatory on public transport, but the government also advises on wearing them inside where social distancing is not possible. However, the images of the queen and William without masks attracted criticism on Twitter.
The Queen visits a science lab in Sailsbury, without a mask. 🤨🤔— Ms.expressioness@damnation #NotMeUs (@expressionessd1) October 15, 2020
I am deffo feeling trolled by the elite!
Why no masks or social distancing? Sorry, but this is not a smart move by the Royal Family as the virus rages & the country heads into another lockdown. https://t.co/KSXBFcKaxH— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 15, 2020
So the (not very well paid) royal staff is expected not to see their own family for weeks around Christmas but the queen can go out&about without wearing a mask????— Inge Kersten (@ingek73) October 15, 2020
Essential workers in the NHS who risk their lives daily cant get tested but in order to accommodate a pr visit from the Queen, not wearing a mask, everyone around her gets tested. That says something doesn't it? This family is so out of touch, even William. Wow absolutely unaware— Nina (@ShakeLS) October 15, 2020
Not everyone was angry by the Queen's decision to go mask-free. Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said: “The Queen and the Duke of Cambridge will inevitably be criticised for not wearing a face covering, but medical advice was sought while the royal visit was being planned and social distancing seemingly was maintained throughout.”
He added: “The Queen’s first official engagement away from a royal residence for the first time in seven months delivers a visible and timely reassurance that daily life can continue during the pandemic in a modified form, even for someone in their 95th year.”
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