Late last week the government announced that everyone going into a shop would have to wear a face mask or covering from 24th of July – and it took them fucking long enough to make that decision. Now that Boris has decided people should be working from an office, and not at home, the question of whether office workers will be wearing them has come up.
But, in typical 2020 government style, that idea was rejected by the government. Like all the other ideas it rejected, only to turn around and approve them several weeks later.
Hatt Mancock Matt Hancock told BBC breakfast that this idea was “something [they’ve] looked at and rejected”. In other words people working in an office will not be obligated to cover their mouth and noses, in spite of how that decision will affect the health of their colleagues.
Hancock claims that social distancing and hand washing are more effective when you’re in contact with the same people for long periods of time. Though being around someone all the time doesn’t decrease your chance of catching COVID-19 (or any transmittable disease) from them . The opposite, actually, especially if you’re boxed in and sharing the same air.
Of course, logistically speaking, it wouldn’t be possible to force office workers to wear face masks all the time. Shopping is different because you’re out in public, and the police can storm in to issue you a £100 fine if you’re being obtuse about wearing a piece of cloth over your faceholes. Private offices? Not so much. It would be up to the management to enforce it, and knowing some of the managers I’ve had in the past they may be the type to write people up for doing so.
So far masks won’t be an obligation in schools either, for the same reason, but at least those are going to be closed for quite some time. There’s plenty of time to change course between now and September, or whenever else the government decides schools should be open. [BBC News]
Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash (cropped)
Send your news and stories to us firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and WhatsApp: +447747873668.
Before you go...
Democratic norms are being stress-tested all over the world, and the past few years have thrown up all kinds of questions we didn't know needed clarifying – how long is too long for a parliamentary prorogation? How far should politicians be allowed to intervene in court cases? To monitor these issues as closely as we have in the past we need your support, so please consider donating to The Climax News Room.