Masks in the open air “when physical distancing can’t be assured”

“Very soon” health chiefs will be telling us all to wear masks in public open spaces if they are so ‘busy’ that physical distancing cannot be assured.

DGS health director Graça Freitas said the new guidance will be issued following consultation with national and international experts.

“If you are outside, but far enough away from other people we will not make the recommendation bearing in mind that people are free to use a mask at any moment”, she said.

Ms Freitas added that she didn’t consider the new guidance a form of u-turn or change, more a ‘developmental reaction depending on assessment of risk’.

She stressed that DGS advice has already recommended the use of masks outdoors in certain circumstances (particularly when physical distancing cannot be assured).

Situations where people are in their own gardens, or in the countryside without a lot of others walking past them are ‘different’, she said.

The announcement came the day after Portugal announced the highest death toll for months (13 victims, all over the age of 70, most of them between the ages of 80-89).

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