Việt Nam issues new rules on facemasks in new normal

September 08, 2022 - 18:02
The Ministry of Health has issued new rules on medical masks to prevent and control the COVID-19 pandemic in public places, which masks are no longer required at schools and in apartment buildings.


Students are not required to wear face masks at school under the new rules.  VNA/VNS Photo 

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has issued guidance on the wearing of masks in public places for COVID-19 prevention and control, clarifying where coverings are compulsory.

Under the new rules issued by the ministry on Tuesday, medical face masks are not mandatory in crowded outdoor places such as apartment buildings, schools, bus stations and parks.  

People no longer have to wear a mask when in close contact as per the previous rule issued by the Ministry of Health last February.

Under the new rules, all people except for children under five years old in areas classified as orange zones (high risk) or red zones (very high risk) must wear face masks in public places.

Based on the human-to-human transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the ministry underlined that wearing face masks in public places such as theatres, cinemas, discos, restaurants, stadiums, parks, and bus stations is an effective measure to protect people’s health, especially those with underlying diseases.

Masks must be worn by people with symptoms of acute respiratory infection or suspected COVID-19.

Wearing masks is also compulsory in medical facilities and accommodation hosting people undertaking medical quarantine or supervision, and for all medical staff. Patients isolated in single rooms, those suffering from respiratory failure or in need of medical treatment, and children under five years old will not have to wear masks.

Medical face masks are compulsory on public transport. Passengers, drivers, service staff, managers and those working at railway stations, bus stations, docks, and airport terminals and in direct contact with passengers must wear face masks.

At shopping malls, supermarkets, and wholesale markets, medical masks are no longer necessary for customers.

The use of face masks indoors is optional for customers in closed spaces such as discos, karaoke bars, massage and beauty service establishments, gyms, on-site food and drink catering, cinemas, theatres, circuses, and film studios.

The same rule is applicable for customers and tourists at cultural and tourist sites, including museums, libraries, exhibitions, and galleries; crowded places such as physical training and sports events, weddings, funerals, festivals, and trade fairs; and public service offices.

However, people working at these places and in direct contact with customers are still required to wear face coverings.

The Ministry of Health has requested health departments to coordinate with related units to guide the implementation of new rules, and inspect and handle cases of violations.

Leaders of organisations, facilities, and areas of application of new rules on medical masks will take responsibility for the implementation of the rules.

On August 12, the Ministry of Health proposed the Prime Minister not announce the end of the pandemic due to the unstable number of new infections and deaths around the world with new variant appearances.

In Việt Nam, the number of cases tended to increase again recently with serious cases being under treatment. — VNS