Lockdowns in Europe are avoidable, according to WHO regional director
"If mask use reached 95%, lockdowns would not be needed."
Lockdowns are avoidable and should only be used as a last resort measure, according to Europe's regional director from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Hans Kluge, WHO's regional director for Europe, also preached caution with regards to vaccines, asserting that they are not a "silver bullet", and that Europe is still in for a difficult six months.
He said: "Lockdowns are avoidable, I stand by my position that lockdowns are a last resort measure.
"Mask use is by no means a panacea, and needs to be done in combination with other measures.
"However, if mask use reached 95%, lockdowns would not be needed."
Lockdowns should be lifted safely and gradually, he added, warning about the negative impact of restriction measures being eased "too quickly".
He also said that primary schools should remain open, as they are not driving the spread of Covid-19.
Kluge's comments come at a time when England is in the midst of its second national lockdown since March. The current measures are due to expire on December 2, but with cases and deaths on the rise, question marks remain over whether restrictions will be lifted before the end of the year.