Dr Hilary Jones defends not wearing a mask at Wimbledon: ‘I obeyed the rules’

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Dr Hilary Jones has defended not wearing a mask while watching the tennis at Wimbledon, saying that he ‘obeyed the rules’ in place.

At the beginning of this year’s Wimbledon Championships, the tournament was running at 50% capacity, building to full capacity as the finals approach this weekend.

Dr Hilary was recently invited to Wimbledon for a seat in the Royal Box, sitting alongside several of his colleagues from the NHS.

On Thursday’s edition of Good Morning Britain, Alastair Campbell asked Dr Hilary whether he felt ‘safe’ not wearing a mask while sitting on the outdoor court, adding that the GP is ‘quite cautious on the whole thing’.

‘Yes I did, because people are socially distancing,’ he replied.

‘They’re being cautious, they’re being sensible, and it’s a big, vast open-air arena. So these are mitigating circumstances so, you know, I obeyed the rules.’

Dr Hilary acknowledged that there were some people who criticised him for not wearing a mask.

‘Of course I got the negative feedback like everybody else, but I abided by the rules,’ he stressed.

‘If we live with Covid we have to use these mitigating behaviours.’

Susanna Reid outlined that the reason why people at sporting events don’t have to wear a mask while sitting in their seats ‘is because there are other mitigations in place’.

‘You need to either have had two doses of the vaccine and have allowed two weeks after your second dose or you provide a negative test,’ she said.

Dr Hilary added: You wear a mask getting to your seat. You can take your mask off when you’re in the seat in the outdoor arena. You hand sanitise, you do all the other things. So you mitigate the one-metre plus rule.’

During his appearance on GMB, Dr Hilary expressed his hope that the government will decide to postpone the lifting of Covid restrictions on July 19 amid rising cases.

He said he hopes that on July 12, the government ‘actually look at the figures again and say, “Actually, we better postpone it.”’

Dr Hilary recalled a comment made by NHS Grampian chief executive Professor Caroline Hiscox, who urged people to ‘follow facts, which stands for face mask, avoid crowded spaces, clean your hands regularly, stay two metres from others, self isolate if you develop symptoms and book a test’.

‘How sensible is that?’ he asked, with Susanna replying: ‘We’re getting rid of half of that.’

‘I know, and that doesn’t make sense to me,’ Dr Hilary added.

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.

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