England football star Kalvin Phillips is among 70 shoppers caught WITHOUT face masks in Selfridges
- Football star, 26, spotted with his face mask pulled down underneath his chin
- More than 70 maskless shoppers were spotted in the space of 15 minutes
- Face masks are required in shops and on public transport due to new variant
- Those caught flouting the restrictions will be fined £200 for a first offence
- Tory MPs suggested public would not follow rules after Downing Street ‘party’
England and Leeds football star Kalvin Phillips is among 70 shoppers who were caught shopping in Selfridges without wearing face masks.
The 26-year-old was spotted with his face mask pulled down underneath his chin while shopping in the Oxford Street department store.
The woman pictured alongside him is believed to be his girlfriend Ashleigh Behan, who is also not wearing a face mask.
Despite requests and signs on all entrances, more than 70 shoppers in the designer handbag section of the store were spotted, in the space of 15 minutes, ignoring government rules which require people to wear face coverings while inside shops.
The rules were reintroduced for shops and on public transport in England after the new Omicron variant was reported.
Earlier today, Tory MPs suggested the public would resist following guidelines after fresh allegations surfaced this week that Boris Johnson held a rule-breaking lockdown party in Downing Street last December, when millions of Britons were unable to visit loved ones.
Under restrictions which came into force at 4am last Tuesday morning, facemasks were again made compulsory on public transport, in shops and settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers in England.
Those caught flouting the restrictions will be fined £200 for a first offence, which will double on each subsequent offence up to a maximum of £6,400.
MailOnline has approached Phillips for comment.
Kalvin Phillips pictured inside Selfridges, on Oxford Street, with his face mask underneath his chin despite government guidance requiring all shoppers to wear face coverings
In the space of 15 minutes, more than 70 shoppers in the designer handbag section of the store were seen ignoring the guidance
The face covering rules for those in shops and on public transport were introduced after the new Omicron variant was reported
Two shoppers pictured with face masks on but pulled down away from their mouths and noses and underneath their chins
In pictures taken on Tuesday, dozens of selfish shoppers are seen flouting the rules, which were brought over fears about the spread of the new variant.
Some shoppers, including Phillips, were seen wearing face masks, but underneath their chin, rather than over their mouth and nose.
Other customers, however, abandoned face coverings altogether.
The pictures come after Tory MPs admitted an ‘indefensible’ and ‘catastrophic’ video of aides joking about their ‘illegal’ Christmas party could mean the public will resist or ignore more restrictions because of a lack of ‘moral authority’ in No 10.
The bombshell video, released yesterday, shows the PM’s former press secretary Allegra Stratton giggling about the lockdown-busting gathering.
It was filmed on December 22 last year – four days after the alleged ‘boozy’ party and when London was under strict Tier 3 coronavirus curbs.
The revelation follows a week of tortured denials from No 10 that there was a ‘party’ – even though dozens of staff allegedly exchanged ‘secret Santa’ gifts and drank past midnight at an event said to have included party games.
Boris Johnson is also said to be on the verge of bowing to mounting alarm about the risk of the NHS being overwhelmed by bringing in tougher restrictions, likely to include a blanket order to work from home where possible, more mask-wearing and Covid passports.
Some backbenchers have suggested that Boris Johnson could be forced to resign unless he ‘holds his hands up’ because of the video, which calls into question his insistence that all the rules had been followed at the time.
One said of Mr Johnson’s leadership: ‘I’m tired of it. He has to go. Clean sweep. It’s unsustainable’. Another said: ‘It confirms my suspicion of the sheer arrogance and hypocrisy of those orchestrating lockdown measures.’
Former minister Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford, demanded an apology.
‘I am fuming! My constituents have every right to be angry,’ she told Kent Online.
‘Their memories of lost loved ones are traumatised knowing that they died alone, first and last Christmases passed by, and many spent what is usually a special day by themselves.
‘I am not even going to begin to justify or defend a party in Downing Street. We all deserve a fulsome explanation and apology and swiftly.’
Conservative Sir Roger Gale said today that the situation bore ‘all the hallmarks of another ‘Barnard Castle’ moment’ – a reference to the Prime Minister’s former aide driving 260 miles during strict lockdown conditions last year.
He said: ‘This is like something out of The Thick Of It. If you wrote it, people wouldn’t believe it. Boris Johnson has always been his own man and done his own thing in his own way. I think he has a certain amount of explaining to do. This is no laughing matter. I want PM to come to the dispatch box and say there either was a party or wasn’t. There has to be an explanation by lunchtime today’.
Even Ant and Dec got in on the act last night, mocking Boris Johnson over the Downing Street Christmas party on I’m a Celebrity 2021 and saying: ‘Evening Prime Minister… for now.’
Police are yet to launch a criminal investigation – but will be reviewing the footage before a decision is taken. It is understood that a senior officer looking at the matter will now consider the contents of the video in the coming days.
‘We are aware of footage obtained by ITV News relating to alleged breaches of the Health Protection Regulations at a Government building in December 2020’, a Met spokesman said. ‘It is our policy not to routinely investigate retrospective breaches of the Covid-19 regulations, however the footage will form part of our considerations’.
Also today, ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson admitted that another nationwide shutdown could be on the cards to tackle Omicron as he warned the super variant will be dominant before Christmas.
The Government scientist, whose modelling bounced No10 into the original lockdown last spring, said the return of stay-at-home orders ‘certainly might be possible’ if the mutant strain threatens to overwhelm the NHS.
He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘There is a rationale, just epidemiologically, to try and slow this down, to buy us more time principally to get boosters into people’s arms because we do think people who are boosted will have the best level of protection possible, but also to buy us more time to really better characterise the threat.’
Asked outright if a lockdown could be reimposed, he said: ‘Clearly if the consensus is it’s highly likely that the NHS is overwhelmed then it will be for the Government to decide what to do about that but it’s a difficult situation to be in of course. It certainly might be possible at the current time.’
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