People should be advised to wear face masks in busy outdoor areas to try to stop the spread of coronavirus, the government’s scientists have said.
In a document dated 13 January, the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said wearing face masks should be extended to places such as parks, food markets, bus shelters and playgrounds.
Its environmental modelling group wrote: "Consideration should be given to using face coverings in a wider range of settings where people could be asymptomatic and may be in close proximity.
"This may include outdoor spaces where it is difficult to maintain distance and people may be close together for extended periods."
Sage experts had previously advised at the end of last year that the government should consider making face masks mandatory in schools, workplaces and crowded outdoor spaces.
It followed calls from independent scientists who said wearing masks outdoors could stop coronavirus spreading in busy shopping streets.
On Monday, a separate Sage report warned that social distancing measures could remain in place until 2022.
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