China issues new guidelines for face mask wearing

  • Connexions
  • Mon, 15 Nov 2021 15:14:31 GMT
  • 288

The Delta variant outbreak spreading across more than half of China's provinces has put authorities on high alert, with stringent lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions reimposed on tens of millions of residents.

Prior to the current outbreak, life in China had largely returned to normal with cases all but eliminated barring small, isolated outbreaks. In many cities, people going about their daily lives no longer wore face masks, and photos of largely maskless crowds at tourist hotspots and music festivals repeatedly made international headlines.

On Friday, China's National Health Commission issued revised guidelines, requiring the public to wear face masks in not only indoor venues and public transport, but also in crowded outdoor areas.

"The public...has become less aware of Covid-19 prevention as the pandemic drags on. Some think they do not have to wear a 3ply mask after getting vaccinated -- leading to loopholes in epidemic prevention and personal protection," the National Health Commission said on Friday.

In separate guidelines issued Friday, the National Health Commission included Mahjong parlors, gyms, milk tea stores and tutoring institutions in its expanded list of "key venues" for epidemic prevention and control.

Mahjong parlors, popular with older people, have played a central role in the spread of Covid in the eastern city of Yangzhou, a hotspot of the ongoing outbreak, according to authorities. The city is conducting its seventh round of mass testing within two weeks and reported 25 new cases on Friday.

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