According to a new survey the rules about wearing facemasks in public places in England are putting too much emphasis on individual choice, leading to confusion. The nationwide study found that 40% of people in England are utterly baffled by the recent facemask policy and 72% would like the government to make masks compulsory in all public places again.
Unlike other UK nations, in England, you are no longer required to wear a mask in public places – although the government “expects and recommends” they are worn in large gatherings. However, masks are mandatory on public transportat in London and other institutions can make their own rules.
Dental practices are advised to maintain facemask wearing and PPE for the foreseeable future. A letter to the Prime Minister on the 14th July – signed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England (RPS), the British Medical Association, British Dental Association, Royal College of Nursing and the College of Optometrists – called for the mandatory use of facemasks, social distancing and regular handwashing by the public to stay in place in all healthcare settings.
The signatories also want to see the use of appropriate respiratory protection for staff in health and care settings continue, alongside improvements in ventilation wherever possible. Yet 13% of those surveyed in England said they felt confused when shops and public transport providers display signs asking that masks are worn, given the emphasis on individual choice.
The same number (13%) admit that they often forget to take a mask with them when going out, now the rules have changed. The study, by insights agency Perspectus Global, found that 53% of people in England still claim to wear masks in all public places, while 16% said they now never wear one and 32% make their minds up when they see what everyone else is doing.
36% carry a mask and put it on if other people are wearing one, 23% feel embarrassed not to use a mask if everyone else is, and 20% will remove their mask if no one else is wearing one, no matter what the situation.
Jon Horsley of Perspectus Global observed: “This research reveals just how confusing many people in England find the rules about face coverings in public places, and also how changeable our behaviour can be when it comes to whether or not we wear a mask, depending on the situation. The fact that so many people want to return to mandatory face masks is a reflection of just how complicated we find the current rules.”
According to the study, in England, young people in particular are confused by the policy – with 52% of 16-to-29-year-olds failing to grasp the legalities, compared to just 28% of over-60s – which might explain why the younger demographic were more likely to forgo masks completely, with over a fifth admitting they never wear them.
The issue of facemasks remains an emotional subject; 32% of respondents admitting they get angry if they see someone else not wearing a mask in public.
England’s face mask rules are different from other UK nations. In Scotland masks must be worn in shops and on public transport as well as in pubs and restaurants when not seated. In Wales they are required in shops and public transport but not in pubs and restaurants, and in Northern Ireland they are mandatory in all public indoor settings.
Of the 2000 Britons polled for the study, Scottish respondents were the most likely to want a continuation of mandatory face masks at 78%, compared to 74% in Wales, and 72% in Northern Ireland and England respectively.
For more information about Perspectus global, visit https://perspectusglobal.com/
See the original article here: Dental Industry Review