Boris Johnson pictured without mask on crowded train

After being pictured earlier this month without a mask visiting a hospital and attending Cop26 climate summit, prime minister was seen riding public transit without a face covering

Celine Wadhera
Monday 22 November 2021 18:26 GMT
Johnson apologises for failing to wear mask on hospital visit

The day after apologising for not wearing a mask while visiting a hospital, the prime minister was spotted taking public transit without a mask, the Mirror has reported.

On Thursday, witnesses allegedly saw a mask-less Boris Johnson take a train from Oxford Road Station to Warrington Bank Quay Station in Manchester, and snapped a photo of the incident.

One witness told the Mirror when they got onto the carriage, they noticed it was half blocked off.

The witness said that a large group, including the prime minister, boarded the blocked off section of the carriage, adding that the group was under guarded supervision.

“There were people surrounding the PM and a few of his people were noticeably not wearing a mask – unlike the rest of the passengers,” the witness said.

When asked about the incident Downing Street declined to comment.

The government’s current guidance says to wear a mask when in contact with people you wouldn’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces – like public transportation.

Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) guidance is similar, stating that passengers “must wear a face covering, unless exempt” while using the Metrolink network, bus stations or interchanges or Ring and Ride services.

“If you don’t, you may be unable to travel and you could be fined,” the TfGM website says.

Last week, Mr Johnson apologised for “mistakenly” not wearing a mask on a visit to Hexham General Hospital in Northumberland earlier this month.

“I walked out of the room mistakenly not wearing it,” he said. “I put it on as soon as I realised I had made the mistake. I apologise for that.”

He added that he had been without a mask for “barely 30 seconds”. No 10 had repeatedly defended him, and said he had followed the hospital’s guidance – despite the hospital’s guidance saying visitors should wear a mask in all areas.

The prime minister was also photographed without a mask at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, while sitting next to 95-year-old Sir David Attenborough, who was wearing a mask.

In response to the photograph, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “The prime minister has abided by the Covid-19 guidance at Cop26 throughout. Attendees and delegates are not required to wear a face mask when they are seated as per the Cop26 guidance”.

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