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Covid-19: recommendations for masks in enclosed public spaces

While the epidemiological surveillance of Covid-19 shows the circulation of the virus is increasing in France, the High Council of Public Health (HCSP) provides recommendations on mask wearing. The present guidelines target higher education establishments but can be applied to other public settings. Cultural and sports settings will be treated separately.

The HCSP mentions the international communication operation called "the mask challenge" launched by the WHO. According to the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) and recent literature, wearing masks is not only efficient in reducing the spread of the virus through respiratory secretions, but also protects people who wear them correctly from Covid-19. Although mask wearing is normalizing in enclosed environments and outdoor with high densities of people, the HCSP recalls that a physical distance of a least 1 meter between people remains paramount and cannot be abandoned.

The HCSP encourages reusable masks to reduce waste and pollution. It recommends to promote the use of reusable masks (in accordance with Afnor recommendations), by facilitating the access to masks that can be reused up to 50 times, with constant and validated breathability and filtration performance, and by simplifying the maintenance conditions. Simple educational information through positive and updated messages should be diffused within public establishments when education and professional activities will resume after summer. The aim is to raise awareness and to enable people to adopt a responsible behaviour.

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