As COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom continue its steep rise, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set tongues wagging again after he was spotted at Euston boarding a train to Glasgow without a mask.
Johnson was heading back to the summit as negotiations reach a crunch point in efforts to keep warming under 1.5C.
The prime minister stoked controversy on Wednesday by leaving his face uncovered for the second time this week, despite repeated criticism from health experts.
UK Metro reported that he did not wear any covering during a visit to a hospital on Monday and was also pictured without a mask at the COP opening ceremony last week.
He was criticised for failing to protect vulnerable groups, including the 95-year-old national treasure Sir David Attenborough, who sat next to him in Glasgow.
Johnson – who flew home from his last visit to COP – boarded a busy Avanti service bound for the Scottish city at around 9am.
Travellers in England are not legally mandated to wear a mask on trains but the company’s guidelines say people must wear one in crowded spaces unless medically exempt.
It is still the law to wear a mask on trains in Scotland, meaning the Prime Minister will be forced to don one as he crosses the border – or face a fine.
When asked about wearing a mask in the past, the PM said it is up to people’s own personal judgement whether and when to wear one.
But health leaders have called on him to set an example to demonstrate the virus is still a threat as transmission rates are high.