Clarifications on Protective Mask Usage for Employees and the General Public by the Ministry of Health – May 1st

In view of the entry into force of the Government’s strategy for the gradual lifting of the restrictions on Monday, May 4, 2020, and the provision of mandatory mask use by specific groups of workers, but also optional for the

general population, the Ministry of Health would like to remind that:

  1. In the context of public protection and precautionary measures, the use of a mask is a complementary measure and does not replace the application of other precautionary practices such as social distancing, hand hygiene, surface cleaning and natural ventilation of living and working areas.
  2. General population: The use of a disposable mask for the general population is recommended and not mandatory in cases of presence of citizens in crowded and closed spaces, where there is a gathering of people, such as supermarkets, department stores, retail businesses, pharmacies, banks, the Departments of the Public and wider public sector serving the public and the public means of transport.
  3. Employees: The use of a disposable mask is mandatory for people employed in:
    1. Public transport (e.g. bus drivers),
    2. Indoor areas  of private enterprises, Public and wider public sectors, which serve the General Public, such as the Citizens’ Service Centers, the Post Offices, the courier companies, Bill Payment Locations of Organization (e.g. EAC, CYTA, Local Government).
    3. Individuals working in direct public service positions in retail businesses. Indicatively:

i.          Supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies, public markets, retail stores, etc.

ii.          Public service in parts of the food chain such as butchers, fishmongers, fruit shops, kiosks, mini markets, retail (e.g. clothing and footwear sales, cosmetics, etc.), etc.

iii.          Distributors

    1. Construction / construction site workers: People working in the construction sector must use disposable masks when traveling by car (the number of people in the car must not exceed 2 people) and when using elevators.
  1. The maximum wholesale and retail price of single-use disposable masks (surgical masks) was set by Decree of the Minister of Health, dated April 15, 2020, at € 0.70 per piece (€ 27.37 per 50 pieces). Therefore, any violation of this Decree should be reported immediately to 1429 (Consumer Line) to take the appropriate measures.

Citizens are also advised to be very careful when choosing protective masks. According to the recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health, the appropriate protective mask for the general public is the simple surgical mask. As for other types of masks (paper, masks with filters, etc.), these do not fall under the recommendations and do not serve the precautionary measures of personal hygiene.

It is also recommended to purchase these masks from reputable points of sale, to check that they necessarily bear the CE compliance mark and that they are packaged in a safe manner.

At the same time, the correct way to use the mask is stressed:

  • The mask covers the face from the tip of the nose the mouth and chin.
  • Before applying or removing the mask, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcoholic antiseptic solution.
  • Remove the mask by carefully removing it from the back and do NOT touch the front.
  • After use, place the mask in a trash can.

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