New Mask Guidelines Released by Guangdong Province

The office of the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control has released updated guidelines with regards to wearing masks in public environments across the Guangdong province, as listed below.

General public

1. Healthy individuals do not need to wear a protective surgical mask in non-crowded outdoor spaces (parks, streets, plazas, etc.) but should keep a distance of at least 2 meters from others. Other instances when one does not need a mask include well-ventilated offices, when alone or with other healthy family members while at home or driving. 

2. However, it is imperative to wear one when navigating crowded public places. Disposable masks, as well as more resilient, personal masks, are encouraged. 

3. If local stores are out of stock and you did not manage to buy a mask, the guidelines suggest covering your mouth and nose with other types of clothing whenever possible until you have access to more proper masks. 

4. Patients showing signs of virus infection while visiting a clinic or public hospital should imperatively wear a mask to avoid further diffusion of the infection and ensure everyone elses safety. Those showing no signs are not required to wear such masks but are reminded to remain particularly vigilant. 

5. Medical staff are required to wear special protective masks (N95 or above) at all times when interacting with patients. 

6. While adult patients with respiratory diseases are advised to wear masks, very young children should not as it may cause difficulties in breathing and, in some cases, suffocation.

Special cases

1. Service providers and workers, including public transportation, taxi drivers (inc. ride-hailing drivers such as Didi), sanitation workers, couriers, and other public servants are required to wear masks while on duty.

2.. Medical staff not dealing with virus infection cases should nonetheless wear masks during their working hours.

3. Any work activity that requires close contact with others in places such as neighborhood committees or on-site epidemiological investigators must be conducted while wearing a protective mask. 

4. Sensitive activities such as specimen collection, environmental disinfection or corpse disposal requires attentive care with a protective mask on at all times.

5. Anyone feeling the need to seek medical attention due to possible infection must be wearing a surgical mask everywhere they go.

Places where masks are required 

1. Hotels (inns), inns, guest houses, restaurants, cafes, bars, and teahouses;

2. Public bathrooms, barbershops and beauty salons;

3. Movie theaters, karaoke halls, video halls (rooms), entertainment halls (rooms), dance halls and concert halls;

4. Sports stadiums (pavilions), swimming pools (pavilions), scenic spots, places of worship, commercial streets, and pedestrian streets;

5. Supermarkets, agricultural/wet markets, shopping malls (stores) and bookstores;

6. Waiting rooms, expressway service areas, public transports (including net taxi and taxi);

7. Exhibition halls, museums, art galleries, and libraries;

8. Any other crowded or closed public space.

While such guidelines are meant to help you get a better understanding and hold of the importance of wearing masks, if you are unsure, the general rule should be to wear a mask regardless of where you go.

This will not only ensure your own safety but that of others as well. 

Only visit crowded areas when absolutely necessary.

Now onto you, our readers. How have you been coping with this situation? 

How are you feeling after days and weeks of unease and uncertainty?

Editor: Crystal H

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