Masking the UK’s diverging infection rates

Infection rates are climbing steadily in England and surging in Wales. They’re pretty much flat in Scotland and Northern Ireland:

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has been monitoring behaviour changes in terms of facemask wearing and social mixing.

Notably, for the week-ending 29 September 2021, with rates falling slightly or flat across the UK, they noted in their data:

Self-reported facemask wearing for those who have at least one non-home contact appears to have reduced below 70% in England, though this overall figure masks differences by age. Reported face-covering wearing has stabilised in the over 60s but continues to fall in younger age groups. The use of face-coverings has remained high in both Wales and Scotland (> 85% of participants), where use in certain social settings has remained mandatory.

A week later infection levels begin to climb in England

Then for week-ending 6th October, they report:

There has been a sharp decline in reported use of facemasks in Wales this week, but this is likely due to a smaller sample size. We will continue to monitor this in the following weeks.

And for week-ending 13th October, the latest, they report:

The decline in face mask usage in Wales noted last week persists at approximately 75%. Face mask usage in England amongst those 18 to 29 years old who have reported contacts outside of the household continues to decrease.

On October 16th, the infection rate in Wales surges and continues to climb in England.

Mask-wearing trends in Scotland and northern Ireland are not mentioned so stable. Rates flatten and appear to stabilise.

Health Warning: Other factors may apply.

For example, latitude? Average minimum temperature? Wind chill? Last winter, walking the dog on a chilly day, I put mine on, though a hundred yards from the nearest human and in a wind that would disperse your aerosols instantly. Joking!


Welcome to Scotland Face Mask – The Official SNP Store

One thought on “Masking the UK’s diverging infection rates

  1. Backs up what my wife and I noted late last month during a five day break in Shropshire. Mask wearing indoors was about 80% in supermarkets and large shops, 100% in our hotel. However outdoors in congested areas such as market stalls only a small number wore masks even though it was congested. We avoid those areas completely.

    Liked by 1 person

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