Why aren’t face coverings compulsory in the UK?
-Masks are conquering Europe. Why is the UK resisting them?

为什么英国还不强制戴口罩?
——欧洲正在推广戴口罩。为什么英国还在抵制?



(不戴口罩的约翰逊……司机戴了口罩)
新闻:

Face masks are taking over Europe. In Italy, they are mandatory on public transport, in shops, and in every situation (indoors or outdoors) where social distancing cannot be observed; in Spain, all people over six are required to wear a face mask unless they can keep a 1.5-metre distance from each other; in Germany, face masks are compulsory in all public spaces, with the state of Thuringia requiring that workers wear them in the office, too.

口罩正在占领欧洲。在意大利,在公共交通工具、商店以及任何不能保持社交距离的场合(室内或室外)都必须佩戴;在西班牙,所有六岁以上的人都必须戴口罩,除非他们能保持1.5米的距离;在德国,所有公共场所都必须戴口罩,图林根州还要求员工在办公室也戴口罩。



The chair of the association’s council, doctor Chaand Nagpaul, says that the UK’s face coverings strategy is “out of step with other leading nations, including those in East Asia, where they have experienced the pandemic at an earlier stage, and where widespread use of face masks was part of their strategy to control the spread.”

该协会委员会的主席,医生查得·纳格保尔说英国的口罩策略“与其他主要国家不一致,包括东亚国家,后者在更早的时期经历了大流行,而在那里广泛戴口罩是控制传播策略的一部分。”


“It doesn''''t make sense to say that the virus is a risk to people in public transport but it''''s not a risk for people who are in other crowded environments. It''''s the same virus, it has the same infectivity,” he says. He contrasts that with Spain’s much more resolute action around face masks – which the government distributed to the population free of charge in May.

“说这种病毒对乘坐公共交通工具的人有风险,但对生活在其他拥挤环境中的人没有风险,是没有道理的。这是同一种病毒,具有同样的传染性,”他说。与此形成对比的是,西班牙在戴口罩问题上采取了更为坚决的行动。今年5月,政府向民众免费发放了口罩。

Around the world, messaging around the usefulness of face masks and face coverings after the global explosion of the Covid-19 crisis has changed over time. In the early phases of the outbreak, the usage of masks was discouraged in some western countries – notably the United States – on the grounds that the evidence for their effectiveness was not strong, and that a rush on medical masks could create shortages of essential protective equipment for the medical personnel.

在全球爆发疫情危机之后,关于口罩和面罩有用性的信息随着时间的推移发生了变化。在疫情爆发初期,一些西方国家不提倡戴口罩——尤其是美国——其理由是,证明戴口罩有效性的证据并不充分,而且仓促购买医用口罩可能造成医务人员基本防护设备的短缺。

More recently, though, several public health agencies have started encouraging the usage of non-medical face coverings not as a protection, but rather as a means of reducing the spread of virus-laden droplets from asymptomatic patients in close-quarters contexts – such as in shops or in mass gatherings. The World Health Organisation (WHO) upxed its advice on face masks on June 5, and Nagpaul points out that both the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and its European unx counterpart ECDC have endorsed the use of face masks in the general community.

然而,最近,一些公共卫生机构开始鼓励佩戴非医疗面罩,不是作为一种保护,而是作为减少无症状患者携带病毒飞沫在近距离环境中传播的一种手段,例如在商店或大规模集会中。世卫组织于6月5日更新了有关戴口罩的建议。纳格保尔指出,美国疾控中心和欧盟对应机构——欧洲疾控中心都已批准在公众中使用口罩。

Still, both the WHO and the ECDC are rather cautious in their recommendations. The WHO advice acknowledges that there’s no “high-quality or direct scientific evidence” proving face masks’ effectiveness, but that “a growing compendium of observational evidence” suggests that governments should “encourage” mask-wearing among the community; the advice stops short of suggesting that masks or coverings be made mandatory. The ECDC is similarly aloof, saying that the use of face masks in shops and other indoor spaces “could be considered”.

尽管如此,世卫组织和欧洲疾控中心在它们给出的建议中都相当谨慎。世卫组织的建议承认,没有“高质量或直接的科学证据”证明戴口罩的有效性,但“越来越多的观察证据汇编”表明,各国政府应该在社区中“鼓励”戴口罩;该建议并没有建议强制性佩戴口罩或覆盖物。欧洲疾控中心也同样低调,称在商店和其他室内空间“可以考虑”使用口罩。

The fact is that – while more and more studies are being published that suggest face masks could play a significant role in confronting the pandemic – there is no definitive clincher about face coverings’ efficacy or lack thereof. “The evidence is not strong – it''''s quite sparse,” says Susan Michie, a professor of health psychology at the University College London and a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours – an expert group advising the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

事实是,尽管越来越多的研究表明口罩能在应对大流行方面发挥重要作用,但并没有确切的证据证明面罩的有效性或缺乏有效性。伦敦大学学院的健康心理学教授苏珊·米琪说:“证据不够有力——证据非常少。”她是大流行性流感科学行为小组的成员,该小组是为英国紧急情况科学咨询小组提供咨询的一个专家小组。


“People tend to take their masks on and off at regular intervals, moving them on their chins, or on their foreheads,” Michie says. “Now, masks are very good ways of gathering viruses, they have quite a nice density, which then spread over your face [when you move the mask]. You touch your face and then touch other surfaces, and you''''re setting up a new transmission route for the virus.”

“人们往往会定期脱下或戴上口罩,在下巴或额头上移动,”米琪说。“现在,戴口罩是收集病毒的好方法,它们的密度很高,(当你移动口罩时)病毒会扩散到你的脸上。你触摸自己的脸,然后再触摸其他表面,这样就为病毒建立了新的传播途径。”

Another problem, Michie explains, is that face masks can give some people a false sense of security, leading them to be more cavalier about social distancing and hand hygiene practices. Others argue that, on the contrary, face masks and face coverings can act as constant reminders of the risk of contagion. “The wearing of seat belts has actually been accompanied by people driving more carefully,” Nagpaul says.

米琪解释说,另一个问题是,口罩会给一些人一种虚假的安全感,导致他们对社交距离和手部卫生习惯更加漫不经心。另一些人则认为,相反,口罩和面部覆盖物能作为持续提醒传染风险的工具。纳格保尔说:“实际上,人们在系安全带的同时也会更加小心地驾驶。”

Nagpaul argues that the UK government has not invested as much in public messaging around the usage of face coverings, as it has, for instance, in publicity around social distancing and hand-washing. To be fair, the government’s website features a page detailing how to fashion a homemade face covering and how to wear it, but it is true that there has been no catchy slogan or publicity offensive on the government’s part. (Googling “Boris Johnson face mask” returns a long row of carnival disguises, but not a single picture of the prime minister leading by example and covering his face.)

纳格保尔认为,英国政府并没有在佩戴面部覆盖物方面投入像在社交距离和洗手等方面的那么多宣传。客观而言,政府的网站上有一个专门的页面,详细介绍了如何制作自制的遮脸布,以及如何佩戴它,但政府方面确实没有吸引人的口号或宣传攻势。(用谷歌搜索“鲍里斯·约翰逊口罩”,返回的是一长列狂欢节化装品,但没有一张首相以身作则遮住脸的照片。)

Allyson Pollock, a professor of Public Health at Newcastle University and a member of the Independent Sage, an independent group of experts publishing advice about the Covid-19 pandemic, says that face coverings should only be promoted as “part of a package of measures, including social distancing and hand hygiene. Face coverings’ value is very weak, not strong.”

纽卡斯尔大学公共卫生教授阿利森·波洛克是独立的紧急情况科学咨询小组的成员,英国紧急情况科学咨询小组是一个发布新冠肺炎大流行建议的独立专家小组。波洛克说,戴口罩只能作为“一系列措施——包括社交距离和手部卫生的其中一部分”来推广。戴口罩的价值很弱,不强。”

“If you are using a face covering, that should be only in conjunction with strict hand hygiene, they’re not much good if people constantly pull them on and off.”

“如果你戴口罩,那必须与严格的手部卫生联系在一起,如果人们不停地脱来脱去,戴口罩就没有多大用处。”


The UK government itself did not respond to several direct queries about why it did not make face coverings compulsory in settings other than public transport. “We continue to advise individuals to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible,” a spokesperson for the Department for Health and Social Care says.

英国政府本身并没有回应几个直接的询问,即为什么在公共交通工具以外的场合没有强制规定佩戴面部覆盖物。卫生和社会福利部的一位发言人说:“我们继续建议人们在无法保持社交距离的封闭公共场所佩戴口罩。”


“We have also considered how realistic or fair it would be for public transport workers to enforce a mandatory approach and feel it would not be practical.”

“我们也考虑过,强制公共交通领域工作人员戴口罩的现实与合理程度,但我们觉得这是不现实的。”