Ministerial directives on wearing masks in public places to prevent COVID-19 spread


A. Preamble
Pursuant to section 169 of the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851), the Minister
responsible for Health by an Executive Instrument (E.I.61) declared cOVID-19 a
public health emergency. Section 170 (1) of the Act provides that the Minister of
Health may order an individual to take a preventive measure in respect of public
health matters.
This directive is hereby issued in compliance with the provisions aforementioned.

B. General Directive
The Minister of Health hereby directs the use of face masks in all public place
where it may be difficult to maintain social distancing. The general public is
encouraged to wear mask or face covering when going out whether sick or not or
attending to a sick person. Incorrect use of face mask carries a high risk of
infection. To avoid contamination, infection or transmission of the virus, the
following instructions are provided:
1. Procedures for wearing and removing a mask
a. Clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-base sanitizer
b. Ensure that your mask fully covers your mouth and nose with no
C. Avoid touching the mask after you have won it.
before putting on a mask.
gaps between your face and the mask.
d. Remove a mask by passing a finger through the loop of the mask
behind one ear and lift off without touching the front of the mask-

2. Changing and disposing of mask

a. Do not use the mask for more than 12 hours at a time.
b. Replace the mask immediately it is damp or soiled.
c. When using a re-useable mask prepare a soapy or bleach lathered
water and drop the mask directly into it on removing. Leave in the
water for five (5) minutes before washing. Rinse, dry and iron before
d. Do not re-use single use surgical masks more than twice or N95
masks more than three times.
e. Dispose all used masks in a closed bin or burn it in a safe place.
Wash hands immediately with soap and water, where available
apply alcohol based sanitizer after dispose.

3. Sizes and standards of mask

It is important that all masks used meet the minimum standards of safety.
The Ministry of Health recommends that Food and Drugs Authority
approved masks are used. Where these are not available, homemade
masks made of the following materials or specifications may be used:

a. JAVA or WAX cloths sown triple layered and stringed with side loops
to be worn as hooks to the ear.
b. Calico inlaid with fabric stiffens and inner covered with side loops to
C. Homemade masks with strings to be tied behind the neck or head
d. Adult masks must not be worn by children -CHILD appropriate
be worn as hooks to the ear.
length masks must be worn by children.


B. Mandatory use of masks

The following groups or persons are required at all times to wear masks:

Food vendors and sellers at markets, commercial vehicle drivers and
attendants, commuters on public transports, persons in public and
commercial centers, facilities and buildings including but not limited to
offices, bars, workshops, restaurants, sports arenas and spas, saloons,
shopping malls, churches, clinics and hospitals and all other facilities
accessible to the public whether privately or publicly owned.


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