The World Health Organization (WHO) is tightening its mask guidelines, telling people who live in areas where the coronavirus is still spreading to wear masks at all times in a variety of public places.
The new guidelines, rolled out on Tuesday, specify that those entering stores, workplaces and schools with low ventilation should make sure that they are wearing a mask. The WHO is also asking that people wear masks if they cannot keep a physical distance of at least three feet from others within an enclosed area.
The guidelines also call for children 12 and older to wear masks and state that face coverings should be worn outdoors if it is not possible to socially distance.
“If indoors, unless ventilation has been assessed to be adequate, WHO advises that the general public should wear a non-medical mask, regardless of whether physical distancing of at least 1 metre can be maintained,” the WHO said.
The health organization added that people should wear masks at home when they invite visitors over if they cannot maintain distance between them.
WHO also recommended that health workers should wear N95 masks when caring for COVID-19 patients. The masks have been proven to protect them when performing procedures that could expose them to infectious droplets.
Last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged the public to wear masks, stating that they help to protect the wearer and others from contracting the coronavirus.