Lord Sumption claims face mask rules could last 10 years as Britain recovers from Covid

In July last year, face masks were made mandatory in indoor public spaces. Now, Lord Sumption has said he believes “social controls” could last for a longer period than rationing in World War 2. Rationing ended in the UK in 1954, nine years after the war ended.

Lord Sumption stated rules on face masks may be in place “even longer” than rationing.

He said: “It’s politically unrealistic to expect the Government to backtrack now.

“An interesting parallel is the continuation of wartime food rationing after the last war. People were in favour of that because they were in favour of social control.

“In the 1951 general election, the Labour party lost its majority entirely because people with five years more experience of social control got fed up with it.

“Sooner or later that will happen in this country.”

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Appearing on the Sketch Notes on a Pandemic podcast, Lord Sumption blasted heavy handed curbs on anti-lockdown protests.

Scientists have repeatedly warned coronavirus restrictions could be in place for years to come.

Mary Ramsay, the head of immunisation at Public Health England, told the BBC: “So I think certainly for a few years, at least until other parts of the world are as well vaccinated as we are, and the numbers have come down everywhere, that is when we may be able to go very gradually back to a more normal situation.”

Jenny Harries, England’s deputy chief medical officer, suggested however it may be possible to remove face masks over the summer months.

She said during Wednesday’s Downing Street briefing: “As we get into the autumn, when winter comes in and we spend more time inside, then again we may be looking at it.

“But it’s quite possible over summer months, as we did last year when we see rates drop, that we would not need to be wearing masks all that time.”

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NHS England shared 24,681,955 first doses and 2,028,543 second doses were administered yesterday.

But NHS England has warned of a shortage in the supply of vaccines in recent weeks, with jab centres in Devon, Kent and Exeter closing for around a month after a “significant reduction” in deliveries.

Yesterday also saw 6,397 cases and 63 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

In total, 4,319,128 cases and 126,445 deaths have been recorded in the UK.

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