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Anyone feeling unwell should wear a mask if they have to leave their home, officials said.
UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) bosses are also advising people to delay returning to work and school to avoid spreading bugs and putting pressure on the NHS.
The warning comes amid a surge in Covid, flu and scarlet fever cases.
It also follows warnings that up to 500 people are dying a week due to the severe emergency care crisis.
However, critics have labeled the call for masking as “virtue signaling control.”
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Top doctors say the current situation in the NHS is “much worse” than it was in the darkest days of the pandemic. Pictured: Travelers at Heathrow wearing masks in August 2021
Top doctors say the current situation in the NHS is “much worse” than it was in the darkest days of the pandemic.
Patients had to wait up to four days in the emergency room for a bed — versus a target of four hours.
More than a dozen NHS organizations reported critical incidents over Christmas and the New Year.
There are now calls for a national declaration of a major loss.
Health chiefs fear the return to work and school this week will add extra pressure as people pass on mistakes they’ve caught during the festive season.
A lack of socializing during lockdown has reduced immunity and left many vulnerable to infection as a result.
Millions of us ditched masks as the government lifted their legal obligation. People were made to wear them indoors at the height of the virus crisis.
Some scientists have already called for a widespread return of face masks in public settings to thwart the spread of the virus and other bugs this winter.
But during the height of the pandemic, top experts were at odds over whether coverings really help.
Renée Hoenderkamp, GP and medical author, said of the UKHSA’s call to dress up: “We never did that before Covid, don’t do it now.”
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