However, in many European countries the use of fabric masks is now compulsory for instance when using public transport or going to the supermarket. It is therefore important to always consult with your local authorities on recommended practices in your area.
The World Health Organisation encourages the use of fabric (non-medical) masks especially in settings in which it may not be possible to keep physical distancing such as, on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments.14
Furthermore, the World Health Organization recommends the use of medical masks to the following individuals 14:
- Health workers
- People who are sick and exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or may suspect they have COVID-19 as well as caregivers of such people
- People 60 years old and over or anyone with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or cancer)
It is important to remember that the use of masks should be combined with other key infection prevention and control measures such as hand hygiene and physical distancing, as they do not protect against COVID-19 on their own.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has useful information about how to use and dispose masks in the correct way. 11