Boris Johnson has defended his record of wearing face coverings, insisting, “I wear a mask wherever the rules say”.
The prime minister was recently attacked for appearing without a mask while sitting next to 95-year-old Sir David Attenborough at the Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow and visiting a hospital in Northumberland.
Health officials said the prime minister wore a mask for “most of” his visit to Hexham General Hospital earlier this month, but confirmed that he needed to be reminded to put it back on.
Challenged about the incidents during a press conference on Downing Street today, Mr Johnson denied breaking the rules.
“I wear a mask wherever the rules dictate, and I urge everyone else to do the same,” said the Prime Minister.
“People will see that I have been wearing face covering more lately as the numbers go up in the UK. I think that is the responsible thing and I will continue to do so. “
However, he emphasized that wearing masks under the government’s Plan A to deal with the coronavirus in the autumn and winter months was now more a question of personal responsibility than a legal obligation.
“We will continue our approach of relying on common sense and people’s personal responsibility to themselves and others,” he said.
“But in tight spaces where you meet people you normally don’t, you should wear face covering. That is the advice we give. “
Mr Johnson previously referred to his decision not to wear covering while sitting next to the masked Attenborough as “the judgment” people must accept, whether they are a reasonable distance from others and whether they are with people who are they don’t usually meet.