Keep wearing masks if it makes you feel safe, says MP

MP Ian Liddell-Grainger is urging constituents to carry on wearing anti-Covid face masks if they feel nervous in crowded places.

He says there should be no stigma attached to continuing to cover up even though the Government is relaxing anti-Covid measures.

But he is already getting calls from concerned constituents, mainly elderly, in Bridgwater and West Somerset who are seeking guidance on whether they should continue to mask up after next Monday.

He said: “My advice is exactly the same in each case: people should do what makes them feel safest.”

The Government is dismantling many of the current protocols designed to limit the spread of Covid despite misgivings from many members of the scientific community.

But, said Mr Liddell-Grainger: “All this really does is to shift the responsibility onto the individual and to make it an individual, rather than a collective decision about how best to protect oneself.

“It will cease to become compulsory to wear masks in certain places and I know this is of concern to many of my older constituents. But if people feel the need to carry on wearing masks in shops, at social gatherings or on public transport then they should continue to do so.

“No-one is going to criticise them for doing so: they are not going to be stigmatised for wanting to protect themselves.

“At the end of the day we have to realise that Covid remains as much of a threat as ever. What has changed is our collective resilience, with such a large proportion of the population now vaccinated thanks to the wonderful efforts of NHS workers and the army of supporting volunteers.

“But after the controls, the lockdowns – and indeed the scares – of the last 16 months it is understandable that elderly people in particular may remain particularly nervous, especially so if they happen to agree with the views of those scientists who say it’s too soon to drop our guard.

“In such cases it is entirely understandable if they wish to continue to limit social contact, practice social distancing, and wear masks even when there is no obligation to.

“And in the new order where we now find ourselves no-one is going to blame them for doing so.”

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