Health minister urges mask-wearing and ‘continue with Christmas plans’

Junior health minister Gillian Keegan has urged the British public to follow today’s new Covid restrictions.

She told BBC Breakfast that: “it is actually the British public’s personal responsibility, to follow the rules, to wear the masks. Obviously shopkeepers have done an absolutely brilliant job of keeping our shelves supplied under very trying circumstances, and we thank them for their service and everything they do. And clearly there have been occasions where you know, that’s been confrontational.

“So you know, we have a lot of sympathy with that, but really, it’s for British public to please be sensible, please wear your mask. But it’s really the police who would enforce that.

She added: “it’s down to individuals. We’re all in this together. You know, it’s not for everybody to be carrying around being policed by shop assistants. We all have to do the right thing.”

Yesterday afternoon health secretary Sajid Javid set out the government’s plans, announced last week, to make masks mandatory in England in shops, on public transport, and in other settings.

There will now be a debate today on the new face-covering and self-isolation mandates.

When quizzed on potential Christmas restrictions, Keegan said: “… we’re not telling people to not continue with their plans. We very much hope that we can continue with our Christmas plans. But of course, we were putting these measures in place now to build up our defence to it.”