New rules for masks in hospitals

Obligation remains in all departments hosting frail, elderly or immunocompromised patients, and therefore almost everywhere

The Ministry of Health published ato request Which establishes new rules for the use of masks in hospitals and healthcare settings. The old rules, which expire on April 30, forced anyone to wear a mask in hospital without distinction of wards, while from May 1 to December 31 it will only be compulsory in wards housing frail, elderly or immunocompromised patients.

In fact, it does not change much, because these categories of patients are visited or treated in most hospital wards. It will not be superfluous to wear it in detention centers, bars, offices and some clinics where less serious patients are welcome.

Health Minister Orazio Schillacci had said on Thursday that compliance would only be confirmed in emergency departments, communicable disease departments and nursing homes, in fact the law does not distinguish between hospital departments or specialties. On the other hand, the health departments of hospitals will be able to decide whether to maintain compliance also in waiting rooms, both for patients and health professionals, and whether patients should be required to enter the emergency room. The discretion of the rules to be observed in waiting rooms is also left to family doctors and pediatricians.

The only people who are not required to wear a mask in the hospital are children under the age of six and anyone with a condition or disability incompatible with wearing a mask.

Health Minister Orazio Schillacci He said This decree confirms that the epidemic is about to end. “I am fully confident that the World Health Organization will also declare the end of the pandemic on May 20,” he said. “We look to the future with optimism, but we are ready in the event of new emergencies to intervene immediately to continue protecting public health and our citizens.” The last mask-related obligation was removed on October 1, 2022, because it is possible to travel on public transport without wearing protective devices.

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