Danish health agency drops opposition to face masks

Danish health agency drops opposition to face masks
People on Dæmonen (the Demon) one fo the rollercoasters at Copenhagen's Tivoli amusement park. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
The Danish Health Authority now recommends using face masks in certain special situations, bringing the policy in Denmark closer to that of other European countries such as France and Germany.
According to its new advice to those who have tested positive, those in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and those with symptoms, the authority recommends people use face masks if they are forced to leave self-isolation. 
 
“Use a face mask if you break self-isolation to go out to take a test,” the leaflets read, before linking to a guide for correctly using masks.  
 
The guide also recommends that relatives of elderly people in care facilities use masks when visiting, if it is hard to keep sufficient distance, and that people returning from countries with a high infection rate on the way back home to go into quarantine. 
 
“There could be a number of situations where you can use it, for example if you come home from a high-risk area abroad and are travelling to your residence, or if you have to go out to have a test,” Helene Probst, acting deputy director of the, told the Ritzau newswire. 
 
 
She said that it was possible that the authority would add to the list of situations where it recommended face mask use. 
 
“We assess this on an ongoing basis, as we open up society more,” she said. 
 
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The World Health Organisation in June updated its recommendations over face masks, recommending governments ask health members of the public wear non-medical face masks in areas where the virus is being transmitted to the community, if it is difficult to keep social distance, or in crowded areas such as on public transport. 
 
Denmark has up until now largely refrained from recommending the masks, although they are mandatory within the country's airports. 
 
“The Danish Health Authority does not recommend that healthy people who move around in public generally wear face masks,” the authority explains in a Question and Answer section on its website put up in May. 
 
“This is partly because it is uncertain whether it has an effect on the spread of infection, but also because we must ensure that we will not lack face masks where they are most important, in the health and care sector.”
 
This passage now recommends using masks “in certain situations, such as prolonged or frequent close face-to-face contacts with customers/clients etc”, if the amount of infection in society is high. 
 
“You might also consider using a mouth or face mask if you are a person at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and cannot avoid situations where you get very close to others, for example, if you have to take public transport during rush hour,” it says. 
 

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  1. I don’t see why it’s so hard to wear mask for everybody. It’s minimize the chance of spreading germs any way, not to mention Covid 19. It’s proven successful in many countries and easy to do. Prople just have to change their attitude towards wearing masks. It’s social responsibility. The effectiveness depends on effort from everyone in society.

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