Actress Jennifer Aniston has urged people to "wear a damn mask" in public to prevent the spread of coronavirus and added that the issue has been "politicised" at the expense of people's lives. 

"I understand masks are inconvenient and uncomfortable," the 51-year-old actress wrote on her Instagram account, where she shared a selfie of herself in a mask. 

"But don't you feel that it's worse that businesses are shutting down... jobs are being lost... health care workers are hitting absolute exhaustion. And so many lives have been taken by this virus because we aren't doing enough."

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Covid-19 is surging in the US, with Aniston's home state of California particularly effected. Bars and beaches have been forced to close just days ahead of July 4th.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has made wearing a mask in many public spaces mandatory but some US citizens claim the new rules contravene their rights. 

Former Friends star Aniston has also said the issue has been politicised, writing: "I really do believe in the basic goodness of people so I know we can all do this BUT still, there are many people in our country refusing to take the necessary steps to flatten the curve, and keep each other safe.

"People seem worried about their 'rights being taken away' by being asked to wear a mask. This simple and effective recommendation is being politicised at the expense of peoples' (sic) lives. And it really shouldn't be a debate."

Aniston added: "If you care about human life, please... just wear a damn mask and encourage those around you to do the same."