A woman wears a protective mask as she travels on an underground train in London

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Getty Images

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Some Londoners have been wearing face masks when travelling for several weeks

Wearing face masks while travelling in London should be compulsory, city mayor Sadiq Khan has told the government.

Despite UK public health experts not currently recommending the use of face-coverings, Mr Khan is lobbying for guidelines to be changed.

It comes after it was made compulsory in New York on Wednesday, with similar schemes also being operated in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

UK government social distancing guidelines do not mention face masks.

“[But] the evidence around the world is that this is effective,” Mr Khan said.

“I’m lobbying our government and advisers to change their advice, and I want us to do that sooner rather than later.

“They are already reviewing this on the basis of our representation.”

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PA Media

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Sadiq Khan is calling on the government to change scientific advice to require people to wear face masks outside

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it remains the case that medical masks should be reserved for healthcare workers, not the general public.

But WHO special envoy Dr David Nabarro has suggested more widespread use of masks will become “the norm” as the world adjusts to living with Covid-19.

Shaun Bailey, the Conservative candidate for London mayor, has also been calling for Personal protective equipment (PPE) to be compulsory for all Transport for London staff.

Mr Bailey claims to have sourced sourced 600,000 face masks and vinyl gloves – enough to protect every bus worker for 30 days.

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