Norway to recommend face mask use in ‘specific situations’

Norway to recommend face mask use in 'specific situations'
Photo: Mika Baumeister on Unsplash
The Norwegian Directorate of Health on Friday recommended public use of face mask in “specific situations”.

The government is scheduled to present the recommendations later on Friday, following joint Health Directorate and Norwegian Institute for Public Health (NIPH) recommendations, according to NRK.

The Health Directorate’s vice director, Espen Rostrup Nakstad, confirmed in advance of the government briefing that the recommendations would be made.

“We will recommend the use of medical face masks or community [non-medical, ed.] face masks in specific situations, in some geographical areas and for a limited period of time,” Nakstad said in a statement.

Community face masks can be a good alternative to medical face masks, according to Nakstad.

 

“It is also important to stress that good distancing is the most important protection we have against infection. New research shows that keeping a distance of at least one metre can reduce the risk of infection by 80 percent, while the correct use of medical face masks reduces the risk by 40 percent,” he said.

NIPH has previously said that face masks can be an alternative protective measure in situations where it is difficult to keep a distance, such as on busy public transport.

Reports in Norwegian media on Friday suggest that demand for the face masks is set to surge further due to the impending announcement, with at least one pharmacy placing a limit on the amount of face masks sold per customer.

Demand was already at a high level, with NRK recently reporting that the price for a pack of 50 face masks had increased seven-fold.

Pharmacies said that this was a result of high supplier prices.

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