Cambs mayor urges residents to wear face masks beyond ‘Freedom Day’
- Credit: Dr Nik Johnson
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor has urged residents to continue wearing masks on public transport and in public spaces, even after Freedom Day.
From Monday (July 19), the Prime Minister has announced it will no longer be a legal requirement to wear face coverings in shops, public transport and other enclosed public spaces.
However Boris Johnson also said the government “expects and recommends” face masks are worn in areas where there are large crowds and enclosed spaces.
Meanwhile, in his capacity as Cambridgeshire Mayor and a doctor, Dr Nik Johnson has issued a statement saying he will continue to wear a mask after Freedom Day.
And he has urged those who can also wear face coverings to join him in doing so as well.
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Dr Johnson’s statement said: “There’s no doubt that easing of restrictions will be a great relief to our businesses; I’m very aware of how difficult the last year has been for the regional economy.
“But I’m also, as a doctor and as Mayor, well aware of the many, many people for whom so-called ‘Freedom’ Day is anything but.”
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He highlighted how he campaigned for the mayor position earlier this year on the basis of compassion, co-operation and community.
Out of the three, he considered community to be the priority in this instance as it involves “keeping everyone safe" as restrictions ease and the country opens up again.
Dr Johnson added: “Commerce relies on people feeling confident to go out and spend in shops and use public transport – not to avoid doing so because of people not wearing masks.”
His views on the issue are also aligned with Labour mayors Sadiq Khan in London and Andy Burnham in Greater Manchester.
Earlier today (Wednesday), Mr Khan announced face coverings are to remain compulsory across London's transport network despite the easing of the rules.
Dr Johnson ended his statement with his own pledge and commitment to mask-wearing.
He said: “To keep our businesses open, and avoid more lockdowns, I will wear a mask.
“On public transport, I will wear a mask.
“To keep my colleagues and patients safe, I will wear a mask. I ask you all to join me.”