Wear face coverings now, British Medical Association warns.

The British Medical Association has said new government rules on face coverings do not go far enough.

On Thursday, transport secretary Grant Shapps announced that anyone using public transport from 15th June will have to wear a face covering. But the BMA has questioned why the measure isn’t being encouraged sooner.

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the risk posed by coronavirus would be “much less” if the public start wearing face coverings immediately.

He said: “The BMA recently advocated the wearing of face coverings by the public several weeks ago in areas where they cannot socially distance and believes it is right that people should be required to wear face coverings on public transport.

“Given there remains a considerable risk of infection, with thousands of new cases every day, wearing masks can reduce the spread of the virus.

“Not only will this afford greater protection to the public, importantly it will protect the lives of the staff working on public transport who, as evidence suggests, are at greater risk of infection.”

The government has been advising people to wear face coverings where social distancing cannot be maintained. Their effect is believed to be limited to reducing the spread of the virus to others in close proximity.