Appearing on Lorraine this morning Dr Hilary Jones expressed his concerns over the public no longer wearing face masks, saying it’s ‘too much too soon’.
Yesterday the Prime Minister unveiled plans for England’s long-awaited ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19, which will see an end to the vast majority of coronavirus rules.
There will be no more limits on social contact or capacity caps for large events and pubs will no longer be restricted by table service.
Requirements to wear face coverings will be lifted – but guidance will suggest people might choose to do so in ‘enclosed and crowded places’.
‘I think taking away all restrictions all in one fell swoop when we have rising cases, cases rising exponentially and very fast with a new variant is rather dangerous,’ Dr Hilary said on the morning programme.
‘The [vaccine] programme has been very successful, it has reduced hospitalisations and deaths but the more cases we have the higher risk we have of a new variant.’
Dr Hilary Jones expressed his concerns on Lorraine (Picture: ITV/Shutterstock)
The general practitioner shared his worry for those working in customer service if everyone chooses to not wear a mask.
He also said those who are in the poorer percentage of the population are ‘more likely to die’.
‘Masks protect other people, not oneself. I feel sorry for people in retail on the other side of the till, in a supermarket or in a shop, I feel sorry for people who work on public transport if no one’s going to be wearing masks,’ he said.
‘It’s personal responsibility but we all know that there are people saying “You know what, I don’t believe this Covid-19 thing at all, I’m not going to be wearing a mask, why should I do that?”.
‘It’s those people in the poorest 10% of the country who are three times more likely to die from Covid if they get it.’
Dr Hilary discussed Freedom Day with Lorraine Kelly (Picture: ITV)
Dry Hilary also explained that while Covid cases are rising, death rates are low, but this doesn’t mean we can become complacent.
He added that while the vaccines may give us good protection for new variants, we ‘can’t take that for granted’.
‘The [vaccination] programme has been very successful, it has reduced hospitalisations and deaths, yes, but the more cases we have the more of risk we have of another new variant, which could render all of the vaccinations we’ve done useless,’ he said.
‘I just think staying with some basic guidelines would have been a good idea, whilst it’s not written in stone yet that we’re going to abandon all restrictions they’re going to review it on July 12, I think they are warning us that it is going to happen as they’re already saying they know there’s going to be new cases.’
Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV.