Face coverings in England
This will be taken but on the whole the amount money view is that it's always better to trust people's common sense to give them a clear sense of what is wise and I think the individuals and businesses are responding well to that lead.
So that was Michael gave this morning SP now Sir professor Melinda mills a sociologist at the university of Oxford he wrote a report for the role society on the behavior and evidence surrounding face coverings and mosques thank you very much indeed for being with us first of all what is your view should we be wearing mosques in shops.
Well definitely I think the evidence is clear and we did.
Mandatory but we might encourage it we saw for the first time Boris Johnson wearing a facemask on Monday and Donald Trump is now wearing one I mean this is really confusing to the public you know so so what our study showed is that you really have to have really clear policy mandates even in some countries they've introduced fines or record you know when and if you have the sort of vague recommendations it's not helpful people need to know what to wear so it's not they're not competing with PPD or surgical face masks it's really high fabric you know good quality multi layer masks they need to know you know when do I wear it and where do I wear it so most advice most country says you should wear in closed spaces or you know sort of crowded spaces not when you're out walking in you can keep social distancing but they also have to know how to wear it and they also we also have to understand who cannot wear it so people with disabilities are children and and you heard that clip from that Michael gave that think cap cabinet minister.
They should be compulsory in shops in England a it's up to people to use their common sense.
Yeah the people need to understand you know this report that we wrote for the British Academy in rural society is just really clear I think the most important thing is that what we found in the behavioral packed factors is that people have to understand how the virus works and how mass protect them that's the most important thing that we have to understand and think about Japan for example you know they have this 3 seats so avoid close spaces avoid crowded places avoid close contact settings they've had 982 deaths in a population of 126000000 we have to learn from sars and other places do you know that have experience and and what we know the lessons learned is all of the countries Asian countries are wearing face masks and they have these really lower deaths but it's just a package it's not just face masks its hand hygiene you know it's.
If the government just has not been clear they said there isn't evidence vague things that had very conflicting policy reckoned implementations here we here you know it's not mandatory businesses also need to know in many countries you come into a shop in an enclosed space you put a mask on and then it's clear and then everybody knows what to do so we just need some clarity and we need everyone to hold the same line and actually do with the rest of the world has already been doing for a few months we say the government hasn't been clear but but in the sense half the scientists being clear because I I've listened to some of those Downing Street briefings a few weeks ago when the scientists in Downing Street was saying the evidence about face coverings is weak it's not clear that they actually help.
Yeah that's a really good point so not only has there been Paul.
Around scientific evidence and your we discuss that in detail in the report in the main reason is a reliance on you know strict randomized controlled medical trials so thinking that those were the only kind of evidence that would be useful to look at for face masks face masks are ex or coverings that were wearing it's not appeals so it's not something that we can you know effectively use a randomized control trial for in the in the general public so you know we look broader at behavioral studies and observational studies and then once you look at that the evidence is really clear if you look at the lessons learned from the Spanish flu right through from sars you actually see it's like it's it's it's you know pandemic 101 a face mask is 1 of the lessons learned so you know it's time to catch up and and learn lessons from previous pandemics as well very good so she thank you so much for time today professor Melinda mills that.