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2nd June 2020, 14:49

Govt issues guidance on face coverings in enclosed public spaces

The Government has issued guidance on the wearing of face coverings in public spaces, such as supermarkets, to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Buses remain the only place where the wearing of face masks is mandatory, but these will not be provided by the bus service.

In a statement, a Government spokesperson said recent scientific evidence confirms that face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the virus, especially for those infected but not showing symptoms. It says this is of prime concern as lockdown measures are lifted.

The Director of Public Health says that he advised this at a press conference last month, but adds it is clear there has been some confusion.

Shelina Assomull asked Dr. Bhatti how he was finding getting this message across, after not advocating for the use of masks from the start. 

The following is Public Health advice on how to wear a face covering:

- Face coverings are not recommended for children under the age of 2 years and those who cannot manage them properly

- Washing your hands before putting your mask on and taking it off is vital

- Regular cleaning/washing of the mask is important if non-disposable ones are used; this will help prevent self-infection that can occur by touching and reusing contaminated mask

- Wearing a face mask can give a false sense of security, leading to potentially less adherence to other preventive measures. A mask SHOULD NOT replace other hygiene measures, namely hand washing, physical distancing and respiratory hygiene.

- Healthcare workers and anyone in contact with confirmed cases will need to follow PPE Guidance and use medical masks as appropriate

- Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and after taking it off and after use. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them.

- Do not touch the front of the face covering, or the part of the face covering that has been in contact with your mouth and nose. Once removed, make sure you clean any surfaces the face covering has touched.

-Wash a face covering regularly; it can go in with other laundry, using your normal detergent. When wearing a face covering, take care to tuck away any loose ends.