The British government has made wearing masks mandatory on public transport as part of the country’s lockdown measures, with fines for violations. However, the move came after thousands of far-left protesters and rioters were free to break social distancing rules in London without punishment.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps made the announcement on Thursday that from June 15th, wearing masks will be compulsory under “conditions of travel” for trains, buses, and other forms of public transport. Those not wearing them may be refused to board or even face fines.
Mr Shapps said: “Alongside transport operators, this will be enforced by the British Transport Police if necessary, but I expect the vast majority of people won’t need to be forced into this.”
The face-covering may be a store-bought or homemade mask or even a scarf. Young children and those with disabilities or who have difficulty breathing are exempt.
The British Medical Association (BMA) and London’s left-wing mayor, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, have called for the requirement to be rolled out to restaurants, shops, pubs, and other enclosed public spaces.
PICS: Antifa, Black Lives Matter Flood London Despite Lockdown, Police Do Little https://t.co/ySrdWGyW0R
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 31, 2020
The United Kingdom still maintains some of the strictest lockdown rules in the world. Britons facing additional requirements in order to simply be allowed on public transport comes as images in the media showed thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters marching in close proximity through London, largely without masks, in almost total disregard for the rules other law-abiding citizens are expected to follow.
The reaction of London’s Metropolitan Police was to “encourage” protesters to remember that “there are still restrictions in place to prevent its spread, which include not gathering outside in groups of more than six people”.
Rather than demanding protesters obey the rules, however, many London police officers instead kneeled to Black Lives Matter protesters, including outside of the Prime Minister’s Downing Street residence.
Wednesday’s demonstration then quickly descended into violence, with rioters assaulting and punching police officers yards from the prime minister’s official residence.
Just days before, peaceful anti-lockdown protesters in London’s Hyde Park were arrested for “breach of Covid-19 regulations” with some fines being issued.
Exclusive Video: Peaceful Anti-Lockdown Protestors Arrested at Demonstration in London https://t.co/NsbvSCHBdl
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 1, 2020
Whether or not being faced with the blatant hypocrisy will cause Britons to reject en masse the enforcement of mask-wearing remains to be seen. However, Breitbart London’s James Delingpole believes that the recent Black Lives Matter protests have “killed” lockdown.
Writing on Friday, Delingpole observed:
But how do all these strictures square with the events of the last few days, in which thousands of people, in Hyde Park and elsewhere, have been permitted to gather in huge crowds in support of Black Lives Matter in flagrant contravention of all social distancing rules?
Well they don’t, obviously, and anyone with half a brain can see this.
He pointed out the “official hypocrisy, double standards, and general stupidity” of the government’s lockdown position, saying:
So, for example, as I discovered the other week, if you’re protesting against the lockdown the police will turn up mob-handed and threaten you with arrest for inadequate social distancing.
But if you’re part of menacing mob claiming to be outraged by an incident that happened 4,000 miles away across the Atlantic in an entirely different legal jurisdiction, then as far as the authorities are concerned no action need be taken short of arresting people physically beating up police officers.
“I think the Black Lives Matter protests — certainly the UK version — are dangerous, stupid and wrong for a number of reasons,” he concluded.
“But I’m grateful to them for one thing: they’ve made it quite impossible for anyone with even half a brain to see the ongoing lockdown as anything other than a ridiculous joke.”
Australian media in London confronted and chased by the mob live on-air yesterday.
UK media not interested in showing it. Remarkable. pic.twitter.com/rSOT6W1Atb
— Michael Heaver (@Michael_Heaver) June 4, 2020