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Mandatory face coverings in Northern Ireland is wrong policy, says professor

Stormont restriction a triumph of opinion over evidence, he claims

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'Wear face coverings in enclosed spaces and where social distancing is difficult: This is now legally required for certain indoor settings, including shops.' (Liam McBurney/PA)

'Wear face coverings in enclosed spaces and where social distancing is difficult: This is now legally required for certain indoor settings, including shops.' (Liam McBurney/PA)

PA

'Wear face coverings in enclosed spaces and where social distancing is difficult: This is now legally required for certain indoor settings, including shops.' (Liam McBurney/PA)

The Executive in Northern Ireland must "be honest" with people on the efficacy of face coverings, a top Oxford academic has said.

Professor Carl Heneghan believes the evidence used to impose the mandatory wearing of masks in public spaces is "poor quality".

The clinical epidemiologist, who made headlines after uncovering a discrepancy with how Covid-19 deaths were recorded in England and Wales, said Northern Ireland should not have followed other UK regions by introducing the policy.