Boris Johnson 'told three times' to put mask on during hospital visit
He has been accused of unnecessarily 'putting lives at risk'
Boris Johnson reportedly had to be told to put a mask on three times whilst on a visit to a hospital in Northumbria.
The Prime Minister was visiting Hexham General Hospital on Monday November 8 and decided to not wear a mask whilst talking to staff - who were all wearing masks themselves - in the corridors.
Sources from the hospital have now confirmed that Johnson was repeatedly asked to put a mask on, eventually doing so at the third time of asking.
The Mirror reports that this was despite Number 10 being told in advance that masks must be worn on the visit and the prime minister being reminded of this on arrival.
Johnson apparently wore a mask for the briefing but then removed it once this was over and he had walked ahead of those he was with.
Trust complaining they were put in ‘impossible situation.’ Clear breach of rules and instruction but to say so a distracting row they felt. Real anger though not least at the arrogance, especially as they already felt being used as way of getting Johnson out of London/sleaze 2/3
— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) November 10, 2021
Downing Street has insisted the PM followed all rules.
Susie Flintham of Covid-19 Families for Justice said: "The PM was putting lives at risk completely unnecessarily by visiting a hospital and refusing to put his mask on, despite being repeatedly asked to.
Flintham described it as a "slap in the face to bereaved families."
Ian Lavery, MP for the Wansbeck constituency in Northumberland, said: "People were astonished that the Prime Minister was bowling up the corridor of a hospital without a mask.
"This shows a callous disregard for patients, visitors and the fantastic workforce, who have been at the frontline throughout the pandemic."
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust officials said: "Our mask-wearing rules are very clear, and it is important to note that everyone that was part of the official visit to Hexham General Hospital on Monday 8 November were formally advised and reminded of these rules on the day.
"These rules include information about mask-wearing and other infection prevention and control measures, such as hand-washing, tucking away loose clothing (ties), and having rolled-up sleeves."
They added: "After the Prime Minister left a welcome meeting, he walked along a mezzanine corridor, for a very short period of time, without a mask.
"This brief moment was captured on camera. As soon as this was identified he was given a mask and he put it on. The Prime Minister did wear a mask for the majority of the visit."
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