The British Medical Association (BMA) has declared that those who suffer from asthma should still abide by mask mandates and guidelines, with the trade union’s Dr. Alan Stout stating that “99% of people who have those conditions can wear a face mask”. The charity Asthma U.K. also agree with the BMA’s view, saying that asthma suffers “can manage to wear a face mask or face covering”. BBC Newshas more.
Most people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should wear face masks when required, the BMA has said.
The guidance from NI Direct states people with such conditions only need to say they cannot wear a mask when asked to prove they are exempt.
“99% of people who have those conditions can wear a face mask,” said the BMA’s Dr. Alan Stout.
Masks are mandatory in a number of settings including public transport.
Shops, airports and taxis are among the settings which the rule applies to in Northern Ireland, designed to prevent the spread of Covid.
In October, the NI Executive agreed this would continue as a legal requirement throughout the winter.
“There are a small number of exemptions to wearing a mask and they are very, very small, so the vast majority of people should be wearing a mask,” Dr. Stout told BBC News NI’s Good Morning Ulster programme.
The message came after the first three cases of the Omicron variant were discovered in Northern Ireland on Tuesday, and all linked to travel to Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
The BMA’s mask-wearing message came after a woman who was not wearing a mask on a train said she believed she was asthmatic because she was exempt.
“Asthma is not an exemption,” Dr. Stout responded.