A disease expert has urged people to wear masks indoors, in order to stay in line with the government’s new Covid guidelines.
Dr Mike Lonergan, who recently published a paper questioning the government’s social distancing rules, has urged people to stick to the new restrictions being introduced today, troublesome as they may be.
The new rules include only meeting up in groups of six from two separate households and wearing masks when not eating or drinking indoors.
He said: “My general thoughts, I think back to the first wave and and how it went up quickly and came down slowly, and now it’s starting to creep back up again.
“I think we all agree that masks are unpleasant and uncomfortable, and I understand that wearing one can be very annoying, but they do help.
“Any restriction that makes a difference to virus numbers is undoubtedly going to be inconvenient, but I think that anyone who doesn’t want to wear a mask in the pub should think about what they are willing to do instead.”
While he supports the new guidance on wearing masks in pubs and restaurants, Dr Lonergan has questioned other parts of the guidance.
He said: “As for the number six when meeting in groups, I feel like that has just been plucked out of the air, hasn’t it?
“Six rather than eight? I don’t know, we don’t have any way of knowing if only meeting in groups of six will make a big difference.”
Hugh Pennington, an Aberdeen University professor and author of books such as “Have Bacteria Won?”, said that he is “not surprised” by the news.
He added: “I’m not surprised that they’ve brought in this rule of six, the number of positive cases has been going up.
“The data doesn’t suggest that the virus has spilled in from the younger population to the older population yet, but that may be down the line.
“I hope that these new measures will be able to prevent more local lockdowns, I suspect that’s what they’re trying to do.
“They want to have as few of these local lockdowns as possible, and clearly they want to get the virus, because there is a fear that there will be an upsurge in cases when winter comes, due to a seasonal effect.
“They’re trying to get well ahead of that.”