Wearing masks is no longer an obligation

Wearing masks is no longer an obligation

But isn’t it worth it to turn it into a habit in selected situations? The obligation to wear protective masks has been lifted. You don’t have to cover your nose and mouth either in the open as was the case at the beginning of the pandemic, or in enclosed spaces according to the latest restrictions. There is only one exception – masks must still be worn during visits to medical entities. Does this mean that we should abandon masks altogether?

The Minister of Health has announced that the obligation to wear protective masks will be abolished, as will home isolation, quarantine for fellow COVID-19 patients and border quarantine upon entry into the country from non-EU countries, the Schengen Area and Turkey. This is the announcement many Poles have been waiting for – after more than two years there is no need to cover one’s nose and mouth in confined spaces.

Exception to the rule

The only exception to the rule is visits to medical entities. What exactly does this mean? Both employees and patients are required to wear masks when visiting patients or consulting in hospitals, clinics, outpatient clinics, health centers, hospices, nursing and care facilities. Medical entities as defined by the Act also include spa treatment centers, rehabilitation facilities and pharmacies.

In what situations is it nevertheless advisable to wear a mask?

The Health Minister explained his decision by the downward trend in the number of infections, which had been observed for two weeks before the statement was issued. Some specialists criticized this approach, saying that we should not lift restrictions at this stage. However, this has already happened. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering to use common sense.

The Ministry of Health recommends wearing masks when the situation can be identified as one with an increased risk of infection. When should one still wear a mask for the safety of oneself and others?

For example, when we are in large concentrations of people. If you are going to a concert or a match whether it will take place in an open or closed space, you should consider covering your nose and mouth. There is a reason why the DDM principle – distance, disinfection, masks – has been talked about since the beginning of the pandemic. These are WHO-tested recommendations that effectively counteract the spread of viruses. Hence, if you know that you will be in contact with many people and this rule cannot be followed, you should wear masks.

Similarly, when moving on public transport – here it is usually difficult to keep your distance especially during rush hour, so it is better not to risk potential infection. It’s worth noting that it’s not just coronavirus, but also other viruses and bacteria that are transmitted by the droplet route.

Read: COVID-19 is a thing of the past? World Health Organization experts have decided.

Infections and lowered immunity

People with reduced immunity – those suffering from certain chronic diseases, cancer, after transplants, taking immunosuppressive drugs, etc. – should also remember about special protection. In their case, it is very important to avoid contagion, as the consequences of even a potentially mild infection can sometimes be very dangerous.

It is becoming standard in some countries for people with symptoms of cold, flu or other such diseases to wear masks. This is a very good step. If someone is coughing, sneezing, has a runny nose or fever it is worth wearing a mask to protect others.

Masks should also be remembered if, for some reason, you have not taken the COVID-19 vaccination. Covering the nose and mouth and disinfection reduce the risk of infection, the course of which can be serious.

Should masks be a habit?

After the decision of the Minister of Health, there were many voices saying that masks should become something normal – not an obligation, but a habit. In the above-mentioned situations, it is indeed worth considering wearing masks not only for your own health, but also for the health of others.

Coronavirus will stay with us as a seasonal disease, but it is important to remember that it is not the only thing you can protect yourself from by following the aforementioned DDM rule.


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