NHS Providers chief Chris Hopson called for a ‘proper grown-up national debate’ about which ‘sensitive precautions’ Brits should be taking after Boris Johnson axed all legal restrictions
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An NHS leader has urged Brits to wear masks and socialize outdoors as the government “doesn’t seem to want to talk about coronavirus any more”.
Chris Hopson said there should be a “proper grown-up national debate” about “sensible precautions” after all legal restrictions ended in March.
The chief executive of NHS Providers represents England’s hospitals, which currently contain more than 15,000 Covid patients of which more than 300 are on ventilators.
He told The Sunday Times infections were surging partly because of pretending Covid “doesn’t exist any more and that nobody needs to take any precautions”.
He said “no one is arguing” for a return to lockdown but added: “There is concern across the NHS that the government doesn’t seem to want to talk about coronavirus any more.
“We think we need a proper grown-up national debate about what living with Covid actually means.”
He went on: “There’s an intermediary point which is where most other European nations are, which is their political leaders are explaining what the level of risk is, and they’re basically saying therefore you need to think carefully about: do you want to wear a mask in a public place?
“Do you want to ensure that if you’re inside with people you don’t normally mix with, there’s proper ventilation?
“Do you want to maximize the amount of time that you spend outdoors meeting people rather than indoors?”
Nearly 2,000 people have died in the last week in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid test – similar to the last peak in January.
It comes after sun worshipers were urged to wear face coverings while at the beach in two holiday hotspots.
Councils in Lincolnshire and Cornwall asked visitors to their famous coastlines to mask up when possible while outside on the sand and pebbles, despite being outdoors.
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Cornwall Council asked visitors to use a face covering and exercise social distancing, citing the high number of Covid cases in the county.
In a Facebook post published on Friday it called for visitors to “wash their hands, wear a face covering where you can and keep your distance in crowded places this Easter”.
Brian O’Neill, a public health consultant at Cornwall Council, echoed the sentiment on BBC Breakfast.
He said: “People are giving space to each other… generally, the visitors that we’re seeing down in Cornwall at the moment are being very respectful.”
Public Health Lincolnshire, which has popular resorts Skegness and Mablethorpe in its remit, urged anyone who was feeling unwell or had coronavirus symptoms to stay at home to ensure “the virus isn’t spread unnecessarily.”
A spokesman for Public Health Lincolnshire told Lincolnshire Live that “Covid is still with us” and holidaymakers should take “personal responsibility”.
The leader of East Lindsey District Council, Craig Leyland, said: “It is extremely important that we all continue to follow this guidance to help keep ourselves and others safe.
“We want all of our residents and visitors to enjoy their Easter holidays so I would urge all of you to help minimize the risk of infection, by wearing a face mask as much as possible when indoors and especially in crowded places, and wishing all our businesses a successful Easter.”