The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has said that wearing non-medical face masks or face coverings should be compulsory on public transport in the capital.
While social distancing rules and self-isolation have stopped many of us from using public transport, there are people who have to use the underground, train and bus systems every day to get to work.
At this stage of the coronavirus pandemic, the UK public health experts have not advised anyone still using public transport to wear a mask but Kahn thinks that should change. Khan said:
[But] the evidence around the world is that this is effective.
I'm lobbying our government and advisers to change their advice, and I want us to do that sooner rather than later.
They are already reviewing this on the basis of our representation.
Khan's message has mostly been well received by some members of the public who feel that it would be a smart solution in scenarios where it is impossible to be more than two metres apart.
However, many critics of the mayor have pointed out that this is a considerable U-turn by Khan, who said at the start of March that there was no risk of catching coronavirus on the Tube. At the time he said that is was important to not "spread panic or alarm" adding:
There is no risk in using the Tube or buses or other forms of public transport or going to a concert.
Unfortunately for the mayor, people haven't forgotten this statement and the quote has begun to be shared again by his critics.
Shaun Bailey, the Conservative candidate for London mayor has also criticised Khan for not providing PPE for TFL workers, where 26 members of staff have reportedly died from Covid-19.
Bailey is quoted by BBC News as saying:
The mayor of London is also the chairman of TfL, and his failure to provide transport workers with PPE is putting lives at risk.
If he wanted to, he can start tomorrow by sourcing PPE for all 60,000 of the transport staff who work for him.
Now more than ever, London needs its mayor to take responsibility and to stop blaming the government to score political points during a national crisis.
The World Heatlh Organisation have said that members of the general public should not be using medical masks but special envoy Dr David Nabarro has suggested that wearing masks will become 'the norm' as humanity adjusts to life with coronavirus.
Countries such as the United States, Czech Republic and Slovakia have already introduced such regulations that have reportedly worked thus far.