WHO updates its recommendation on wearing masks in public spaces

Since early April, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that Americans wear a mask or face covering when in public spaces where social distancing may be a challenge.

Now, the World Health Organization has issued the same guidance to people globally.

The WHO had previously said there was not enough evidence to recommend that masks or face coverings be worn by healthy people. But some countries had already issued that guidance.

On Friday, WHO Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said "in light of evolving evidence, the WHO advises that governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where there is widespread transmission and physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments,” according to the BBC.

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The global health entity said masks can help provide a barrier from spreading “potentially infectious droplets.”

WHO had previously advised that those who were sick and their caretakers wear masks.