Faced with a ‘severe’ RSV outbreak and a possible imminent rise in flu cases, Chile has decided that all schoolchildren above the age of five must return to wearing a mask. Adults are exempt – save for the requirement to wear one in health centres, which is now a permanent measure. Euro.ESEuro.com has the story.
Chile is facing one of the largest outbreaks of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in recent years, with an imminent rise in cases of flu (influenza), in a situation that has forced [sic] the authorities to take extreme measures. One of them was the return of the mandatory use of masks for school-age children.
The measure was communicated by the Minister of Health, Ximena Aguilera, who had just faced a controversy over the lack of coordination in the search for a critical bed for a three-month-old baby in the city of San Antonio (Valparaíso Region), who ended-up dying from pneumonia. …
With this context, the South American country will resume the use of face masks that became widespread during the acute phase of the Covid pandemic, and which was mandatory until October 2022. This time, the measure will apply only to a part of the population and in a specific place.
According to the indications of the Chilean Ministry of Health (Minsal), masks will be required for all children over the age of five who attend schools. Compliance will be verified by each educational establishment and will be coordinated with the Ministry of Education (Mineduc). In parallel, it was recommended that minors wear the protection element outside the classroom when they are on public transport, crowded places or places with little ventilation.
Higher education establishments such as universities, Technical Training Centers (CFT) and Professional Institutes (IP) were exempt from the obligation.
Adults of any age will continue to have no mandate to wear face masks in public places. The only places where they will be required will be at health centres, in a measure that became permanent after the Covid crisis.