Brits may be able to ditch face coverings in the summer months once lockdown is over. 

That's according to the England's deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries, who said it was possible coverings may not be needed in the warmer weather. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's road-map out of lockdown suggests all social restrictions on gatherings could be removed as early as June 21 - allowing large scale events such as festivals to go ahead. 

When asked if face masks will still be complusory indoors in public places after June 21, Dr Harries said: “One of the things we know, of course, is doing things outside is ever so much safer than doing things inside – ventilation, we know, is really important.

“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.

“Summer period is generally, we think, a much safer period for us with less need for interventions, but I think that doesn’t rule it out as we go into winter periods again.”


Dr Harries also backed plans to make face coverings mandatory in secondary schools and higher education settings when they open on March 8. 

She said the rise of the Kent variant of Covid-19 meant it was right to take “additional precautions” by extending the use of face coverings in schools.

Asked at today's Downing Street press conference about the Prime Minister saying in August that making children wear masks in schools was “nonsensical”, Dr Harries said: “Face coverings are there to help others – we are protecting others by wearing them.

“There are a number of different conditions at the moment. For example, we have a new variant, and while we are understanding that more, then obviously taking additional precautions makes sense.

“We understand more about the ability for aerosol generation and transmission, so that is also important.

“So things, I think, have moved on and it should be reassuring to know that we look at the evidence and then adjust our advice accordingly.”