The Scottish Government have advised members of the public that they should wear non surgical face masks in ‘limited circumstances.’
The First Minister said this morning, that she is recommending ‘cloth face masks’ should be worn in places where it is difficult to avoid crowds.
Nicola Sturgeon told today’s press briefing that masks should be worn in places where social distancing is difficult, such as supermarkets or public transport.
Official advice regarding face coverings has been released on the Scottish Government website, here.
The Scottish Government website now states that “there may be some benefit in wearing a facial covering when you leave the house and enter enclosed spaces, especially where physical distancing is more difficult” but they also add that “there is no evidence to suggest there might be a benefit outdoors, unless in an unavoidable crowded situation.”
The advice comes as Scotland’s Coronavirus death toll has reached 1,332 – an increase of 70 deaths since Monday. 10,721 people in Scotland have now tested positive for the virus – up 200 from the previous day.
126 people remain in intensive care in Scotland, and 1,754 people are still in hospital with COVID-19.
The First Minister said that she is not recommending masks be worn by children under the age of two, but that everyone else should wear a face covering when attending a crowded, enclosed space such as a busy supermarket.
She said today “We are recommending that you do wear a cloth face covering if you are in an enclosed space with others where social distancing is difficult, for example public transport or in a shop.”
She also announced that more testing would now take place in Scotland, and that everyone over the age of 70 admitted to hospital would now be tested for the virus as standard. They will then be tested every four days during their stay in hospital.
She explained, “This will help us identify if the virus is being transmitted throughout a hospital.”
The Scottish Government have advised that people do not try to obtain surgical masks, but should use cloth face coverings such as items “made of cloth or other textiles and through which you can breathe, for example a scarf.”
In the US, members of the public have also been advised to wear a mask when attending busy enclosed spaces. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised that the measures should be implemented, and some US states have now made it mandatory to wear a mask.
In Spain, the Spanish Government have put a cap on the price of surgical masks to ensure that “the sale of face masks was not open to abuse.”
In France, 140,000 face masks bound for the ‘black market’ were seized yesterday by police. France banned the general sale of surgical masks, in order to prioritise their use for health workers. The French Government are also keen to stop companies from making huge profits from the sale of the essential equipment.
Germans have also been advised by their government to wear a mask in public in order to try to eliminate COVID-19. The use of masks is mandatory in shops and on public transport.