AN MP has said the decision to leave mask-wearing up to individual choice “risks high costs.”

Speaking in the House of Commons, Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas slammed the government’s decision to scrap mandatory mask-wearing on July 19.

Ms Lucas told the Health Secretary Sajid Javid that “other public health and safety measures aren’t left up to decide” and that “allowing people to choose whether or not to put others at risk is both reckless and unfair”, especially on public transport.

The Argus: Caroline Lucas said scrapping face masks rules "risks high costs"Caroline Lucas said scrapping face masks rules "risks high costs"

Sajid Javid said that while he understood where Ms Lucas was coming from, “we do have to learn to live with Covid”.

He added: “That does mean that these restrictions that have been necessary up until now, that we have to at some point confront them and start removing them, and now is the best time to do that because of the defence that has been built via the vaccine”.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister promised to tear up England’s coronavirus regulations at the next stage of the road map.

The so-called “freedom day” is expected on July 19, with a decision on whether or not to go ahead being taken a week earlier.

At the Downing Street Press Conference, officials acknowledged that Covid-19 cases and deaths would continue to increase – albeit at a much lower level than before the vaccination programme – but it was now necessary to find a new way to live with the virus.

Under the Prime Minister’s plan for Step 4 of the road map:

– There will be no limits on social contact, meaning the end of the orders such as the “rule of six” and restrictions on guests at weddings and mourners at funerals.

– Legal requirement to wear face coverings will be lifted, although guidance will suggest people might choose to do so in “enclosed and crowded places”.

– All remaining businesses will be able to reopen, including nightclubs, while capacity caps will be lifted and bars and restaurants will no longer be restricted to table service.

Boris Johnson said he would wear a mask in crowded places full of strangers but suggested he would not on an empty train carriage late at night.

The Prime Minister told the Downing Street press conference: “I will obviously wear a mask in crowded places where you are meeting people that you don’t know, as Chris (Whitty) was saying, to protect others and as a matter of simple courtesy.

“There’s a difference between that, and I think everyone can understand that, and circumstances where you might find yourselves sitting alone for hours late at night on a train with no one else in the compartment and there I think people should be entitled to exercise some discretion.”