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UK News

'It's your Christian duty to wear a face mask', says medical expert as new rules announced

by Tola Mbakwe

The Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) has said Christians are obligated to wear face masks and shouldn't see the new mandate in England as showing a lack of faith. 

The Government announced on Monday that wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets is to be made mandatory i in a fresh move to stop the spread of the coronavirus, 

In a statement on Tuesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said anyone failing to comply with the order - which comes into force on 24th July - could face a fine of up to £100.

CMF spokesperson Steve Fouch agrees with the idea and told Premier Christians shouldn't see it as infringing on their freedom.

"I think anything that we can do that reduces the dangers and the risks to other people is a responsibility that we have," he said. 

"As Christians, we're told to be responsible for one another, we are our brother's keeper. And as a result of that I think we have to take really seriously any of these sort of public health requirements.

"It's not that we place our major trust in all of these, I think our trust always has to remain first and foremost in God himself. But I think we also need to take sensible and reasonable precautions to protect other people, especially at a time like this

"The Church has always advocated for that kind of approach. So I think as Christians, we shouldn't be afraid of wearing masks at all. It's not a lack of faith to wear a mask. It's actually a sign of consideration and concern for others."

Ahead of Tuesday's announcement by Mr Hancock, a No 10 spokesman said: "There is growing evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from coronavirus.

The move will bring England into line with Scotland, where face coverings are already mandatory in shops.

Fouch told Premier that in order for the new rule to stop the spread of Covid-19, people need to wear it properly. 

He gave this checklist for wearing a mask:

  • Wear a face mask with a triple layer of fabric
  • Choose a face mask that fits well and doesn't bulge at the edges 
  • Make sure the mask covers your nose
  • Take off your mask from the ears
  • When your take off a disposable mask, put it in a sealed bin
  • When you take off a reusable mask, put it in a resealable zipper bag
  • Always wash your hands after taking off your mask

The government hasn't given a timeline for when we can expect the rules to be relaxed on wearing masks. But Fouch believes the UK may mirror Asian countries where it's become normal to wear face coverings due to the aftermath of virus outbreaks like SARS in 2004. 

"I have the feeling that this is going to become part of the new normal for us for a very long time to come. Maybe not all the time, maybe not everywhere, but I think mask wearing will have to become part of our way of life," he said. 

"It's going to be part of our day to day existence with seasonal flu and other illnesses that are quite major threats to health, especially amongst vulnerable communities. And I hope it becomes a way of thinking for us about protecting other people."

Listen to the full interview with Steve Fouch here: 
 

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