Roy Beggs MLA has criticised the local MP for derogatively describing face covering as muzzles
Roy Beggs said, “The scientific community has recognised that face coverings/masks can help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus where social distancing is not possible. By describing them as muzzles, Sammy is disrespecting all our NHS workers and the carers who put themselves at risk, caring for the community during the past months. By poo pooing expert advice, and discouraging the use of face coverings, he is also putting at particular risk the thousands of vulnerable members of our community who have until recently been shielding. Why is he trying to dissuade the public from protecting their neighbours where social distancing is not possible, such as on public transport or in confined public indoor spaces?
We all must remember that the coronavirus has not gone away. With the relaxing of lock down, many have dropped their guard completely and a second wave is presently striking Europe and levels of infect are rising in parts of England. Even locally for the first time in months the numbers of those infected has increased and at the start of this week, some new forty cases have been confirmed in NI, 10 of which are here in the Mid and East Antrim area.
I have worn a face covering on a number of occasions and do not want unnecessary deaths or long term health damage caused to local people. I also respect the fact that some cannot wear such protection because of their underlying health condition. We all must accept that it may not be possible for some.
We do not want restrictions on our movements, lives and local businesses to be re-imposed. So please washing your hands regularly, stay 2m apart where possible and do wear a face covering in the necessary in public spaces to keep this virus at bay. Given the recent surge of local cases, and to protect those who until the end of July had been shielding, I support the Health Minsters call for an early reassessment on the mandatory use of face coverings.