The government is "playing fast and loose with our country's health" warns TSSA in reaction to confirmation that protective measures aimed at restricting transmission of coronavirus will be lifted from Monday 19 July.
In his evening press conference, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said "This pandemic is not over. This disease continues to carry risk for you and your family." Yet, in his next breath, he declared "we will stick to our plan to lift legal restrictions."
In further confusing messaging, he continued by saying:
"But we recommend people to wear a face covering when in a crowded place where you don’t know other people, such as public transport."
In response, Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, said:
"If, as the Prime Minister says, face coverings are strongly recommended in crowded enclosed spaces to stop the spread of Covid, it beggars belief that the Tory government is making this as an optional extra rather maintaining it as a mandatory requirement.
"The government is sadly playing fast and loose with our country’s health and wellbeing. Johnson admits we are in the middle of a third wave and that cases, hospitalisations and deaths will increase as a result of dropping these basic protective measures. It is staggeringly irresponsible.
"We expect detailed guidance to be issued across our rail industry this week to deal with the many questions our members will have following this mixed message update from government. However, our union won't tolerate our members being put at needless risk of catching the virus."