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‘No masks!’: Demonstrators gather in Hyde Park to protest mandatory face coverings in shops

‘Keep Britain Free’ movement claims it is defending British rights and liberties

Conrad Duncan
Monday 20 July 2020 10:10 BST
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Protesters in London campaign against wearing masks

Anti-mask activists gathered in Hyde Park to protest the mandatory wearing of face coverings in shops and supermarkets.

Demonstrators at the event in London on Sunday were seen carrying signs that read “no masks” and “I will not be masked, tested, tracked”, in opposition to the UK government’s coronavirus restrictions.

One speaker at the event wore a g-string on her face in protest, while a man was pictured wearing a vest which said: “Save human rights. No to 5G. No to vaccinations.”

The protest was set up by the group “Keep Britain Free”, which was founded by businessman and entrepreneur Simon Dolan.

Mr Dolan lost a High Court bid earlier this month to overturn the government’s lockdown for the pandemic.

Face coverings will be made mandatory in shops from 24 July, with a fine of up to £100 for those who disobey the rule.

Clare Wills-Harrison, one of the event’s organisers, told Sky News that the protesters were “campaigning for the return of our rights and liberties”.

However, the group’s opposition to the new rules on face coverings is not shared by the general public.

A poll by Opinium published on Sunday in the Observer showed 71 per cent of adults in England supported the decision to make face coverings mandatory in shops, with just 13 per cent opposing the order.

‘Cassie Sunshine’ wears a g-string on her face as she speaks at the ‘Keep Britain Free’ protest (Getty Images)

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, the UK’s national statistician, told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday that 61 per cent of the population had already been using face coverings in the last week.

“What we are showing is that week on week there is an increase in the number of people who are using face coverings,” Sir Ian, the head of the Office for National Statistics, said.

“So last week the data would show that 61 per cent of the population had used a face mask in the last week and that’s up from 50 per cent the week before.”

He added that face coverings were becoming “the norm” in many parts of society, especially in Scotland, where face coverings in shops were made mandatory earlier this month.

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