Mask up outdoors too, says Welsh health minister in new advice on face coverings that’s at odds with UK govt guidance

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The Welsh health minister has called on people to wear a face mask in public places as the UK faces soaring infection rates and a race to vaccinate people against Covid-19 during the winter months.

Vaughan Gething told a press conference on Monday afternoon that people in Wales should endeavour to stay at home as much as possible and to remember that, “If we do have to go out, to wear a face mask when we’re in public places.” 

The new guidance goes further than the advice given by the UK government, which makes no such suggestions for face coverings outdoors. 

“Vaccination is life-saving and, in this pandemic, it could be life-changing for all of us. This is a race against the virus to save as many lives as possible,” Gething added. 

“As we speed up the rollout of vaccines across Wales, it’s more important than ever that we follow the rules to keep all of us safe.”

Parts of Wales have been among the most heavily impacted by the pandemic, although its national infection rate now sits considerably below that of England. 

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The health authorities say there have been 468.2 infections registered per 100,000 people in the past seven days in Wales. In England, the figure is 650.9 cases. 

Earlier on Monday, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warned that the UK will go through the “most dangerous time” of the pandemic in the coming weeks, with hospitals operating under heavy strain from the recent influx of Covid patients.

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