I note that there is NOT an IC4 recommending ‘Mask wearing by asymptomatic individuals or the entire population’.
Both snippets might explain why such a move was never documented, but perhaps they focused on these little gems:
Although work-related influenza infection is well document (e.g. Kuster et al.), very few studies have been undertaken about the effectiveness of PPE in reducing infection. Many of the studies that have been conducted suffer from poor compliance or lack the power to detect an effect.
Whether surgical masks or respirators should be recommended for routine patient care in healthcare settings, and for general use in the community is not clear, given the lack of evidence supporting one type of mask over the other and uncertainties about the predominant modes of influenza transmission.
Risks: Inappropriate use of PPE may reduce effectiveness. Education on appropriate use of masks would be required to ensure that there are no unintended negative effects of mask wearing, such as decreased compliance with social distancing measures (self-isolation) because people feel protected, or increased indirect transmission through constant touching and adjusting of wet masks.
The same people who wrote this in 2019, are likely still floating around the various Government Departments. Where are they? What changed?
But, hey, let’s not deny the science.