Welsh Government to examine whether face coverings should be worn to protect against coronavirus following new Scottish guidance
Wales’ Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, has said he wants to see the detail of Scotland’s move to recommend people wear face coverings when out in public.
The Scottish government has published guidance today recommending people cover their faces when leaving their homes to enter enclosed spaces where it’s not possible to keep a two-metre distance, such as public transport and some food shops.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the new guidance is for the use of homemade face coverings and not medical grade face masks used in healthcare settings, she said:
“I want to stress at the outset, a very important point and ask you to bear this in mind, I’m talking here about face coverings made of cloth or other textiles, such as a scarf.
I’m not talking about medical-grade face masks that you would see health and social care at workers wearing.”
The Scottish guidance states: “The evidence on the use of face coverings is limited, but 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 and where there is a risk of close contact with multiple people you do not usually meet.
Examples include travelling on public transport or entering a food shop where it is not always possible to maintain a 2 metre distance from another customer.
There is no evidence to suggest there might be a benefit outdoors, unless in an unavoidable crowded situation, where there may be some benefit.”
During a press conference today, Vaughan Gething said he wouldn’t be drawn into making any comments as to whether Wales would follow Scotlands lead, he said:
“Well, I need to see the exact detail of what Scotland has said.
The challenge is whether you need face mask or a form of face-covering whether it’s a scarf, whether it does any harm by doing that and there’s no evidence of people wearing a scarf does any harm.
If we do get formal guidance that people should wear a covering over their face need to understand what that means,
about the way the public will then behave in adopting them and if people want to go and do their shopping they’re not wearing a covering what the reaction of other people will be.
We also need to be particularly cognizant of the potential of the people trying to acquire masks that would otherwise be used by health and care professionals,
So I want to see the detail about Scotland, and also want to talk with my own Chief Medical Officer here in Wales before getting drawn into making a definitive comment about the position in Wales.”
You can watch the press conference in full here:
🎥 Yn fyw nawr | 🎥 Live now: https://t.co/rVFpqdAfjV
— Welsh Government (@WelshGovernment) April 28, 2020
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