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Health officials recommend campaign to educate public on the wearing of face masks

The campaign will outline best practice for use of face coverings in retail outlets and on public transport.

Image: Shutterstock/jmac23

HEALTH OFFICIALS HAVE said they will recommend an ad campaign to get people to wear face masks and to wear them correctly. 

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said that the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) wants the public to know how to use the coverings correctly, especially when they are in situations where public distancing can’t be adhered to. 

He said: “NPHET has recommended the development and implementation of a national communications campaign to increase compliance with current recommendations on the use of face-coverings.

“The campaign will outline best practice for use of face coverings in retail outlets, on public transport and in other public locations, where it may be difficult to maintain social distancing.”

Until mid-May, wearing face masks wasn’t formally part of the government’s advice on helping to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

In March and April, the public was advised that good hand hygiene and social distancing were essential steps in preventing Covid-19 transmission. 

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When it was introduced as new guidance, Dr Holohan said he was “concerned” the advice about face coverings could be “interpreted in a way by people that meant that maybe we don’t need to worry about washing our hands as much or, if we wear a face covering, we can we can disregard the requirement in terms of social distancing – that is not the case”.

“So this is an additional hygiene measure. It’s not a magic bullet for this disease, and that has to be understood,” Holohan said.

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