In certain situations where maintaining a 1 meter distance to others is impossible, facemasks are recommended as an additional precaution to lower the risk of infection from persons with symptom-free COVID-19 as the spread of disease is increasing.
– Distancing is still the most important factor to prevent infection. Facemasks do not replace other infection control measures, Line Vold, at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, emphasizes.
The most recent aggregation of knowledge conducted by the Institute of Public Health indicates that distancing to 1 meter or more reduces the risk of infection by approximately 80 percent. Facemasks used by the population reduce infection only by approximately 40 percent.
– That means the risk of infection may increase if we replace the recommendation of distancing to at least 1 meter with one of facemask use. It also shows how important it is for people to continue keeping at least a 1 meter distance to anyone not in their closest social circle, to prevent the virus from spreading, says Wold.