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Employers need “common sense” approach to masks

Employers need “common sense” approach to masks

Monday 26 October 2020

Employers need “common sense” approach to masks


Employers should take a common-sense approach to the wearing of masks in the workplace, says the doctor leading the Island’s response to the covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Ivan Muscat said that Islanders should wear masks at work “whenever possible and when it is sensible to do so."

However, the official guidance that “strongly recommends” that Islanders wear masks in public indoor spaces - which comes in today - does not extend to workplaces. 

Addressing masks in offices and other workplaces, Dr Muscat said: “What we have taken into account with today’s move is that wearing masks is particularly important in indoor public places, where physical distancing or contact tracing is particularly difficult.

“So, if you are working within a bubble in your office with perhaps the same three or four people all the time, then the need to use a mask all day long becomes less. It then becomes up to the venue concerned to make a decision about how to approach mask wearing within that context.

Washing hands.jpeg

Pictured: Dr Muscat wants Islanders to remember the basic covid health guidelines. 

“If, however, your place of work is, for example, a coffee shop or a bar and you are a public-facing staff member, then wearing a mask, or preferably a face shield, would be important and appropriate.

“When it comes to advice for employers, I think common sense should be applied when it comes to the wearing of face masks, with a view to wearing them wherever possible and sensible to do so.”

The Deputy Medical Officer of Health added that it was crucial that Islanders remembered the basic health guidelines that were as important now as they were in March.

“It is sensible, right and proper that, given the number of Covid cases that we see going up all around us in Europe and in the UK, and given that we are going further and further into winter - therefore the risk of Covid is going up and up - that now is the time to re-emphasise the importance of adhering to public health measures to prevent the transmission of Covid in this Island. 

“Although we’ve had a good summer, this does not make us immune from Covid as we go into winter. Now is the time to remind ourselves about the importance of washing hands, coughing and sneezing into a tissue, disinfecting surfaces, physical distancing and the other simple but effective measures to reduce the chances of transmission.”

From today, it is “strongly recommended” that masks are worn when visiting:

  • retail shops including post offices, pharmacies and banks;
  • supermarkets, indoor markets and petrol stations;
  • the bus station and using public transport or private hire cars/taxis;
  • hospitals, clinics and GP surgeries;
  • care homes;
  • hairdressers and beauty salons.

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Comments

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Posted by Mark Wilbourn on
I hadn’t realised that the advice from March to wear face coverings had been withdrawn, necessitating new guidance. Although, I was the only person wearing a mask in the supermarket on Sunday.
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