Equality campaigners have called the government’s decision to end the mandatory wearing of face masks in indoor spaces “reckless” and “politically motivated”.
Boris Johnson announced in the House of Commons on Wednesday that all Plan B restrictions will be scrapped from Thursday next week, including compulsory mask-wearing on public transport and in shops, advice to work from home where possible and vaccine certificates. Compulsory self-isolation for people with Covid will also end on March 24.
But people with long-term illnesses and disabilities are asking the government to reconsider rolling back some of the protective measures, fearing that without a mask mandate they will be unsafe in public places.
“Throughout Covid-19 disabled people and their families have been forgotten and ONS data shows that six out of 10 people who have died from Covid in 2020 were disabled,” Richard Kramer, chief executive of national disability charity Sense told The Big Issue.
“We also know that many disabled people are still shielding at home and do not feel safe to go out. It’s now vital that as we move out of the pandemic, we don’t leave disabled people in lockdown by the decisions we make.”
The announcement came after an explosive Prime Minister’s Questions dominated by calls from both parties for Johnson to resign. “‘In the name of God, go” former Brexit secretary David Davis told the PM.