Charity boss says blaming care sector for repeated government mistakes is unacceptable

12.33pm BST

Downing Street has issued a reminder to the public in England that face coverings should cover both the nose and the mouth, if they are to help prevent the spread of covid-19.

Amid criticism over the more lax regime in England, where face coverings are mandatory on public transport but merely advised in other settings, Boris Johnson’s official spokesman stressed that they are only effective if they cover the wearer’s nose. He said:

Covid 19 is a respiratory disease. If someone has the virus, droplets can leave the nose and month and infect others when someone breathes, speaks, sneezes, laughs or coughs. Therefore, a face covering should cover both the nose and mouth to reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets, helping to protect others.

If you can, you should wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas.

12.23pm BST

Good afternoon. I’m Andrew Sparrow, taking over from Amelia Hill.

At its daily lobby briefing Downing Street has refused to apologise to care homes for what Boris Johnson said yesterday about who too many of them failed to follow the correct procedures during the coronavirus crisis.

Throughout the pandemic care homes have done a brilliant job under very difficult circumstances. The prime minister was pointing out that nobody knew what the correct procedures were because the extent of asymptomatic transmission was not known at the time.

As I’ve just set out, the PM thinks that throughout the pandemic care homes have done a brilliant job under very difficult circumstances.

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