Urgent request to wear face masks in four scenarios as community transmission grows

Urgent request to wear face masks in four scenarios as community transmission grows
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Health authorities in New South Wales are urging people to start wearing face masks in a range of scenarios, as community transmission of COVID-19 grows.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the medical advice on the need for masks had changed and said people should don one in four key circumstances.

Those four areas are: 1) If you’re in an enclosed space like public transport or a supermarket; 2) If you’re in a customer service job; 3) If you attend a place of worship; and; 4) If you’re in a COVID-19 hotspot or an area of high community transmission.

It comes as NSW recorded 12 new coronavirus cases today.

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Ms Berejiklian explained her reasoning behind the new advice.

“Firstly, if you are in an enclosed space and you cannot guarantee social distancing, such as public transport, such as when you are buying groceries, you should be wearing a mask.

“We would also like to see more staff to a customer facing wearing masks, whether they are in hospitality venues or whether they are in retail. Whenever they are facing customers, we strongly recommend that they wear masks.

“If you are attending a place of worship, we want you to wear a mask. If you are attending a church, synagogue or mosque, we would like you to wear a mask.

“And finally, if you are in an area where there is high community transmission or a number of cases, we want you to wear a mask.”

The Premier described wearing a mask as “the fourth line of defence”. This was behind getting tested if you have symptoms, social distancing and hand hygiene.

Ms Berejiklian pointed out that it was a request from her, and not a mandatory requirement, to wear masks in these areas.

“I want to stress it is not compulsory, but it is a strong recommendation from NSW Health, given where we are in the pandemic, given the risk posed from Victoria and given the rate of community transmission in New South Wales.

The Premier assured people that she would follow her own advice.

“I myself, when I next go grocery shopping, will be wearing a mask.”

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