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COVID-19

Geneva to make face masks compulsory in all shops

The canton of Geneva will take steps to battle a resurgence of coronavirus by making the wearing of face masks compulsory in all shops.

Geneva to make face masks compulsory in all shops
People wearing protective masks practice social distancing as they queue at the reopening of the Plainpalais marketplace in Geneva on April 16, 2020. AFP
The measure will come into place on Tuesday, authorities announced.
 
With 46 new cases registered on Thursday, the figures are worrying, said regional health chief Mauro Poggia on Friday.
 
Poggia said the situation was worsening and stricter measures needed to be taken.
 
Geneva is following in the footsteps of the cantons of Vaud and the Jura, which have already introduced a similar rule.
 
Shoppers will also be forced to disinfect their hands with hydro-alcoholic solution before entering the store. `
 
Authorities in Geneva also announced that wearing masks will be compulsory for all those who work in beauty and therapy industry, including hairdressers.
 
 
The rise in cases in the area has been blamed on a general slacking off of members of the pubic with regards to social distancing and hygiene rules as well as young people returning to bars and holding private parties.
 
From Friday night bars and discos were obliged to collect the identity and a reliable means of contact for each client.
 
Venues that don't comply risk steep fines.
 
Staff at pubs and restaurants must also be masked. These measures will remain in place until at least October.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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