Boris Johnson apologises for not wearing mask during hospital visit

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson  (PA Wire)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (PA Wire)

Boris Johnson has finally apologised for failing to wear a mask on a visit to a hospital.

However, the Prime Minister was quick to defend his actions as he said it was “barely 30 seconds” he was not wearing a mask during a visit to Hexham General Hospital last week.

Appearing in front of Parliament’s Liaison Committee, Mr Johnson defended himself after photos emerged of him without a face covering on the visit.

Mr Johnson spoke out after facing questioning from Home Affairs Select Committee chairwoman Yvette Cooper.

He said: “As for not wearing a mask in Hexam Hospital, which you wrap up into my general litany of crime, can I just say that actually, there was barely 30 seconds where I wasn’t wearing a mask.

“I walked out of a room mistakenly not wearing it. I then put it on as soon as I realised I made that mistake.

“I apologise for it, but most pictures of my visit to the hospital will show that I was duly masked throughout the remainder of the visit, and I was masked on the way into the visit.”

Previously Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said the Prime Minister “did wear a mask for the majority of the visit”.

But the trust added “after the Prime Minister left a welcome meeting, he walked along a mezzanine corridor, for a very short period of time, without a mask”.

“As soon as this was identified he was given a mask and he put it on,” the trust said.

Asked about the use of face masks, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the NHS Providers annual conference: “Our primary form of defence are the vaccines, that is true the world over, the vaccines remain absolutely critical.

“We’ve got a really high rate of vaccination but yet, that said, there’s still work to be done, there’s still some five million people for example in England that haven’t even received one jab and the booster programme is is critical.

“There is guidance around mask wearing – in some places it is mandatory on public transport… I think people should follow the guidance.”

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