‘Not practical’ Susanna Reid scolds Dr Hilary Jones as he urges Britons not to use lifts

The ITV doctor claimed he has been urging people for months to prefer stairs over lifts in an attempt to avoid contracting coronavirus. He said: “I’ve been telling people for weeks not to use lifts unless they absolutely have to. And preferably get in the lift on your own.

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“Because it’s an enclosed space with no ventilation, you’re not two metres apart from somebody else and it’s a risk.

“So use the stairs if you can and get fit at the same time.”

But Susanna Reid was forced to point out parents who live in tower blocks and have small children simply cannot follow this advice. 

She said: “I know but Dr Hilary, if you live in a tower block and you have two small children with you, it’s not practical, is it, to be walking up and down the stairs.

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“And that’s why I wonder, again, whether a facemask in a lift.”

To which Dr Hilary Jones replied: “Yes because you can’t socially distance.

“Yes, I’ve always said, if you can’t socially distance, some sort of face-covering might give you some protection and can’t do much harm.”

The Government is still rejecting the idea face masks could substantially protect people from contracting coronavirus. 

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Speaking on BBC News, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The evidence around the use of face coverings amongst the general population is weak, one way or the other.

“We constantly keep that under review and if there’s changes that we need to make to the guidance, then we’ll make those changes.”

On the subject of face masks, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told Good Morning Britain: “I’ve been calling for an exit strategy discussion for some considerable period because these are the things we need to discuss, and if it is to be face masks, then we need a plan in place to get them up to the right people.”

He said a “rush on face masks” needs to be avoided.

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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the Government has been “trying to source as many masks as possible” in case guidance for their use by the public changes.

Questioned on the issue of face masks, as European governments prescribe their use to citizens, Michael Gove said: “We follow the scientific advice and there is a clear distinction as I know she knows between the sophisticated type of face mask that would be appropriate in a surgical or a social care setting and the sort of face-covering that can be used by individuals to shield others.

“But it’s important to recognise the wearing of these face coverings affords no protection to the individual, but properly worn they can be a contribution to making sure that others are protected from the aerosols from the droplets that all of us might cough or sneeze be responsible for producing.”

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