REFUSING to wear a face mask or covering is a sign of a serious personality disorder, experts have warned.
The coronavirus pandemic has meant that the use of face masks and coverings are compulsory on public transport and supermarkets and shops across the UK.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updatesThe wearing of face masks and coverings is mandatory in shops and on public transport Credit: Alamy Live News
In the UK the police are able to intervene if people are not wearing masks and fines can also be issued.
Some people are exempt from wearing masks and this includes people who suffer with conditions such as asthma.
Many people feel uncomfortable wearing masks and coverings - a policy introduced to curb the spread of the virus.
Scientists in Brazil have now claimed that people who refuse to wear masks and comply with safety measures have antisocial personality traits.
The Latin American study surveyed over 1,500 people between the ages of 18 and 73.
The participants were given a series of questions relating to how well statements represented their behaviour.
The researchers also quizzed participants about how compliant they had been with coronavirus measures - such as mask wearing.
The researchers noted that the pool of participants were from Brazil - a country where the virus is still a big threat to residents.
Face mask exemptions: Who doesn’t have to wear one in the UK?
Who is exempt from wearing a face mask?
According to the official Government guidance, the following groups are not required to wear a face-covering while using public transport, in a shop, pub or restaurant:A child under the age of 11 People who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability An employee of the transport operator, or in any other indoor setting where appropriate when they are acting in the course of their employment Where a mask causes the wearer severe distress An emergency responder such as a police officer, paramedic or fire officer acting in the course of their duty Someone speaking to or helping anyone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate Someone acting to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to themselves or others - including if it would negatively impact on your ability to exercise or participate in a strenuous activity
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, has previously been criticised for downplaying the virus and had previously mocked the use of face masks.
So far in Brazil there have been 5.41 million cases of the virus and over 157,000 deaths.
Bolsonaro had also previously vetoed laws requiring people to wear masks in enclosed places.
The participants in the study were also asked about how their feelings were stirred by other people’s behaviour to certain issues.
The study, published in Elsevier, found that two personality profiles were found.
It found that people who were resistant to coronavirus safety measures and restrictions were most likely to have an antisocial profile while those who were compliant showed an empathy profile.It is also advised that face masks are worn in areas where social distancing is not possibleCredit: AFP or licensors
People who fell into the antisocial personality category scored higher when it came to questions related to risk taking and hostility.
These people also scored higher on questions relating to callousness, deceitfulness and irresponsibility.
The research states that these traits are present in people “diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder" (ASPD).
The NHS states that ASPD can affect how someone thinks, perceives, feels or relates to others.
NHS guidance states: “Like other types of personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder is on a spectrum, which means it can range in severity from occasional bad behaviour to repeatedly breaking the law and committing serious crimes.
“Psychopaths are considered to have a severe form of antisocial personality disorder.”
The researchers stated: “These traits explain, at least partially, the reason why people continue not adhering to the containment measures even with increasing numbers of cases and deaths.”
The experts said that their research could help government officials educate people and that it could influence policy decisions.
The researchers added: "Through screenings that demonstrate an elevation in these [ASPD] traits, interventions can be carried out aiming at greater awareness and consequent compliance with containment measures.”
UK sees another 102 Covid deaths as 20,890 more test positive in just 24 hours – down 18 percent from last week