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UK Covid live news: ministers face backlash from England’s care sector over plans to make jabs compulsory for staff

Latest updates: 16-week deadline for staff to get vaccinated would not give sector enough time to adapt, say senior figures

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11.26am BST

Providers and representatives from the care sector are understood to be meeting with officials from the Department of Health and Social Care at midday to discuss the issue of mandatory vaccinations for care home workers, PA Media reports.

11.23am BST

In her evidence to the Commons science committee Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser, NHS Test and Trace and deputy director of Public Health England’s National Infection Service, suggested that wearing masks might have to be compulsory for people on public transport for more than 15 minutes after 19 July, the date when regulations are supposed to end.

Asked by the Conservative MP Aaron Bell what “non-pharmaceutical interventions” (NPIs, or restrictions) might have to remain in place after 19 July, she said that a lot of this would come down to social responsibility, and people taking decisions on things like masks for herself. But she went on:

This is a balance. In some countries, like Sweden, they have done a lot through social responsibility. In other countries they have legislated heavily.

So I think there is a middle road, as we have vaccination heavily rolled out, that requires potentially, in some areas where there is higher risk, to look at them [NPIs, or restrictions]. One might consider, for example, transport; for those of use who pack ourselves into the Tube regularly, we may feel more comfortable if everyone else was asked to wear a mask for those very close encounters for potentially periods longer than 15 minutes.

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