What Are The Rules On Masks In Spain?

What Are The Rules On Masks In Spain
Use of face masks In Spain, as of 20 April 2022 it is no longer mandatory to wear a mask indoors or outdoors with certain exceptions. You must wear a mask:

  1. When travelling by plane, train or bus, as well as in all other public transport.
  2. On ships or boats when the 1. 5-metre safety distance cannot be guaranteed, except inside cabins, provided these are shared with members of the same household or bubble.
  3. In healthcare centres, services and establishments, such as health centres, hospitals and pharmacies.
  4. Workers and visitors in communal areas of socio-sanitary centres.

Remember that children under the age of six are not obliged to wear masks under any circumstances. In hotels, restaurants, shops and cultural venues Restrictions and occupancy control have been lifted in hotels, restaurants, shops and commercial establishments, as well as in museums, monuments, cultural venues, exhibitions, shows and leisure activities.

  1. It is also no longer a requirement to wear a mask inside or in enclosed areas open to the public;
  2. However, you must still wear a mask in pharmacies, health centres and hospitals;
  3. In any event, to be able to continue enjoying an improved experience and for your own comfort, we recommend that you still book ahead wherever possible to avoid overcrowding;

Tips for enjoying yourself in complete safety Although a mask is no longer mandatory in many establishments and enclosed spaces open to the public, it is still recommended to wear one whenever social distancing cannot be maintained or for vulnerable people, such as the over 60s or expectant mothers.

Remember to follow the general recommended health and safety measures, such as keeping a safe distance from others whenever possible or using hydroalcoholic gel. What happens if you fall ill during your stay in Spain? In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19, it is recommended to exercise caution and minimise social interactions as much as possible by constantly wearing a mask and maintaining adequate hand hygiene for 10 days after the onset of symptoms or the diagnosis if you are asymptomatic.

It is advisable to particularly avoid contact with vulnerable people and not to attend large events. It is no longer mandatory for close contacts of confirmed cases to self-isolate. Bear in mind that in all cases, Spanish emergency healthcare services are guaranteed and provided at hospitals and healthcare centres.

Are there face masks that should not be worn during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Face masks and respiratory hygiene – Masks with an exhalation valve. The valves are a weak point that can transmit the viruses outwards. The WHO and the US CDC recommend individuals wear non-medical face coverings in public settings where there is an increased risk of transmission and where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

This recommendation is meant to reduce the spread of the disease by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals and is complementary to established preventive measures such as social distancing.

Face coverings limit the volume and travel distance of expiratory droplets dispersed when talking, breathing, and coughing. A face covering without vents or holes will also filter out particles containing the virus from inhaled and exhaled air, reducing the chances of infection.

But, if the mask include an exhalation valve , a wearer that is infected (maybe without having noticed that, and asymptomatic) would transmit the virus outwards through it, despite any certification they can have.

So the masks with an exhalation check valve are not for the infected wearers, and are not reliable to stop the pandemic in a large scale. Many countries and local jurisdictions encourage or mandate the use of face masks or cloth face coverings by members of the public to limit the spread of the virus.

Masks are also strongly recommended for those who may have been infected and those taking care of someone who may have the disease. When not wearing a mask, the CDC recommends covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and recommends using the inside of the elbow if no tissue is available.

Proper hand hygiene after any cough or sneeze is encouraged. Healthcare professionals interacting directly with people who have COVID‑19 are advised to use respirators at least as protective as NIOSH -certified N95 or equivalent, in addition to other personal protective equipment.

Can masks prevent the transmission of COVID-19?

Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives; the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection against COVID-19. If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, stay safe by taking some simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue. Here are the basics of  how to wear a mask :

  • Clean your hands before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off, and after you touch it at any time.
  • Make sure it covers both your nose, mouth and chin.
  • When you take off a mask, store it in a clean plastic bag, and every day either wash it if it’s a fabric mask, or dispose of a medical mask in a trash bin.
  • Don’t use masks with valves.

For specifics on what type of mask to wear and when, see our Q&A  and watch our   videos. There is also a Q&A focused on   masks and children. Take a 1-hour WHO course that tells you when, where and how to wear a mask in community settings. Find out more about the science of how COVID-19 infects people, and our bodies react, by watching or reading this  interview.

Check local advice where you live and work. Do it all! Make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people. The appropriate use, storage and cleaning or disposal of masks are essential to make them as effective as possible.

For specific advice for decision makers, see WHO’s technical guidance .

Can I wear masks with exhalations valves during COVID-19?

Updated 20 May 2022 Masks are a key measure to reduce transmission and save lives. Wearing well-fitted masks should be used as part of a comprehensive ‘Do it all!’ approach including maintaining physical distancing, avoiding crowded, closed and close-contact settings, ensuring good ventilation of indoor spaces, cleaning hands regularly, and covering sneezes and coughs with a tissue of bent elbow. There are three types of masks that WHO recommend for the publ ic: 

  • Reusable non-medical masks  which comply with the ASTM F3502 standard or CEN Working Agreement 17553, or a non-medical mask meeting WHO essential parameters; 
  • Disposable medical masks  which comply with medical mask standards EN 14683 Type I, ASTM F2100 Level 1, YY/T 0969, YY 0469 (or equivalent); 
  • Other types of well-fitting non-medical masks , including homemade multi-layered masks are an acceptable option, when other options are not available.

Disposable medical masks  are also recommended for the following groups, because if infected, they are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 and dying:

  • People aged 60 or over.
  • People of any age with underlying health conditions, including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, immunocompromised patients and diabetes mellitus.

Disposable medical masks   are also recommended for :

  • Anyone who is feeling unwell, including people with mild symptoms, such as muscle aches, slight cough, sore throat or fatigue.
  • Anyone awaiting COVID-19 test results or who has recently tested positive.

A respirator or a medical mask  should be worn by to caregivers at any setting where care is provided to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, including home care, long-term care facilities and community care settings In settings where there is community or cluster transmission of SARS-CoV-2, irrespective of vaccination status or history of prior infection, wearing a well-fitting mask that covers the nose and mouth is recommended for the public when interacting with individuals who are not members of their household:

  • in indoor settings where ventilation is known to be poor or cannot be assessed, or the ventilation system is not properly maintained, regardless of whether physical distancing of at least 1 metre can be maintained;
  • in indoor settings that have adequate ventilation if physical distancing of at least 1 metre cannot be maintained; or
  • in outdoor settings where physical distancing of at least 1 metre cannot be maintained.

It’s not always easy to determine the quality of ventilation. If you have any doubts, it’s safer to simply wear a mask. While wearing a mask, you should continue to maintain physical distance from others as much as possible. Wearing a mask does not mean you can have close contact with people. A r espirator or a medical mask should be worn by health workers along with other personal protective equipment (PPE) – gown, gloves and eye protection – before entering a room where there is a patient with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

  • Respirators or medical masks should be worn throughout their shifts, apart from when eating, drinking or needing to change the respirator or medical mask for specific reasons.
  • Health workers must remember to combine hand hygiene with any time they touch their respirator or medical mask or face, before and after putting on and removing them, as well as before they touch them to readjust them.
  • Health workers should continue to physically distance and avoid unnecessary close contact with colleagues and others in the healthcare facility when not providing patient care.

Respirators should be worn in the following situations:

    • In healthcare facilities where ventilation is known to be poor or cannot be assessed, or the ventilation system is not properly maintained.
    • Based on health workers’ values and preferences and on their perception of what offers the highest protection possible to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.

    Further resources:

    • Healthcare workers can consult our  OpenWHO  course on how to put on and remove personal protective equipment.
    • Read our guidance on ‘ Infection prevention and control during health care when coronavirus disease (‎COVID-19)‎ is suspected or confirmed ‘.

    Medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are:

    • composed of 3 layers of synthetic nonwoven materials
    • configured to have filtration layers sandwiched in the middle
    • available in different thicknesses
    • have various levels of fluid-resistance and filtration

    Respirators (also known as filtering facepiece respirators – FFP) are available at different performance levels such as FFP2, FFP3, N95, N99, N100. Medical masks and respirator masks are similar in their filtration value. However, respirators also have a tight fit around the wearer face as the model and size of the respirator is specific to the wearer to ensure an adequate seal. Respirator masks are designed to protect health workers who provide care to COVID-19 patients in settings and areas where aerosol generating procedures are undertaken.

    Depending on the type, masks can be used for either protection of healthy persons or to prevent onward transmission, or both. They are also recommended for health workers providing care to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients in settings where ventilation is known to be poor or cannot be assessed or the ventilation system is not properly maintained Health workers should be fit tested before using a respirator to ensure that they are wearing the correct size.

    Wearing a loose-fitting respirator will not offer the same level of protection to the wearer as it may allow small particles to get inside the mask where there are gaps, for example through the side. Filtration, breathability and fit are all important. If you purchase a non-medical mask, check the labels to make sure it complies with the ASTM F3502 standard or CEN Working Agreement 17553. If you choose to make your own mask, it should be made of three layers of fabric:

    • Inner layer of absorbent material, such as cotton.
    • Middle layer of non-woven non-absorbent material, such as polypropylene.
    • Outer layer of non-absorbent material, such as polyester or polyester blend.

    Watch the video on WHO’s recommended fabric mask materials and composition for more information. For either type of mask, you should choose the one that fits your face well – cover your nose, cheeks and chin without leaving gaps on the sides. Masks with vents or exhalation valves are not advised because they allow unfiltered breath to escape the mask.

    When health workers are caring for COVID-19 patients, they should wear a respirator or a medical mask. If COVID-19 is widely spreading, visitors, along with health workers and caregivers, should wear a well-fitting medical mask at all times when caring for non-COVID-19 patients and in all common areas, even if physical distancing can be maintained.

    Health workers, caregivers and visitors must remember to combine hand hygiene with any time they touch their medical mask or face, before and after putting on and removing them, as well as before they touch them to readjust them. Health workers should continue to physically distance and avoid unnecessary close contact with colleagues and others in the facility when not providing patient care.

    • Inpatients are not required to wear a medical mask in general;
    • A mask may be required if physical distancing of at least 1 metre cannot be maintained (e;
    • , during examinations or bedside visits) or when the patient is outside of their care area (e;

    , when being transported), provided the patient is able to tolerate the mask and there are no contraindications. How to put on and wear a fabric mask:

    • Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
    • Inspect the mask for tears or holes, do not use a mask that is damaged.
    • Adjust the mask to cover your mouth, nose, and chin, leaving no gaps on the sides.
    • Place the straps behind your head or ears. Do not cross the straps because this can cause gaps on the side of your face.
    • Avoid touching the mask while wearing it. If you touch it, clean your hands.
    • Change your mask if it gets dirty or wet.

    How to take off and store a fabric mask:

    • Clean your hands before taking off the mask.
    • Take off the mask by removing it from the ear loops, without touching the front of the mask.
    • If your fabric mask is not dirty or wet and you plan to reuse it, put it in a clean resealable bag. If you need to use it again, hold the mask at the elastic loops when removing it from the bag. Clean your mask once a day.
    • Clean your hands after removing the mask.

    How to clean a fabric mask:

    • Wash fabric masks in soap or detergent and preferably hot water (at least 60 degrees Centigrade/140 degrees Fahrenheit) at least once a day.
    • If it is not possible to wash the mask in hot water, then wash it in soap/detergent and room temperature water, followed by boiling the mask for 1 minute.

    Watch our ‘How to wear a fabric mask’ video for a demonstration. How to put on and take off a medical mask:

    • Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
    • Inspect the mask for tears or holes; do not use a mask that has previously been worn or is damaged.
    • Verify which side is the top – this is usually where the metal strip is.
    • Then, identify the inside of the mask, which is usually the white side.
    • Place the mask on your face covering your nose, mouth and chin, making sure that there are no gaps between your face and the mask. Place the straps behind your head or ears. Do not cross the straps because this can cause gaps on the side of the mask.
    • Pinch the metal strip so it moulds to the shape of your nose.
    • Remember, do not touch the front of the mask while using it to avoid contamination; if you accidentally touch it, clean your hands.

    How to take off a medical mask:

    • Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
    • Remove the straps from behind the head or ears, without touching the front of the mask.
    • As you remove the mask, lean forward and pull the mask away from your face.
    • Medical masks are for single use only; discard the mask immediately, preferably into a closed bin.
    • Clean your hands after touching the mask.
    • Be aware of the condition of the mask; replace it if it gets soiled or damp.

    Even when you’re in an area of COVID-19 transmission, masks should not be worn during vigorous physical activity because of the risk of reducing your breathing capacity. No matter how intensely you exercise, keep at least 1 metre away from others, and if you’re indoors, make sure there is adequate ventilation. .

    Should I wear a face mask outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Should I wear a face mask outdoors? – In general, wearing a face mask outdoors is not recommended. However, in areas with community transmission of COVID-19 you may consider wearing a face mask in crowded outdoor settings.

    What layers should the fabric mask be made of during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Updated 20 May 2022 Masks are a key measure to reduce transmission and save lives. Wearing well-fitted masks should be used as part of a comprehensive ‘Do it all!’ approach including maintaining physical distancing, avoiding crowded, closed and close-contact settings, ensuring good ventilation of indoor spaces, cleaning hands regularly, and covering sneezes and coughs with a tissue of bent elbow. There are three types of masks that WHO recommend for the publ ic: 

    • Reusable non-medical masks  which comply with the ASTM F3502 standard or CEN Working Agreement 17553, or a non-medical mask meeting WHO essential parameters; 
    • Disposable medical masks  which comply with medical mask standards EN 14683 Type I, ASTM F2100 Level 1, YY/T 0969, YY 0469 (or equivalent); 
    • Other types of well-fitting non-medical masks , including homemade multi-layered masks are an acceptable option, when other options are not available.

    Disposable medical masks  are also recommended for the following groups, because if infected, they are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 and dying:

    • People aged 60 or over.
    • People of any age with underlying health conditions, including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, immunocompromised patients and diabetes mellitus.

    Disposable medical masks   are also recommended for :

    • Anyone who is feeling unwell, including people with mild symptoms, such as muscle aches, slight cough, sore throat or fatigue.
    • Anyone awaiting COVID-19 test results or who has recently tested positive.

    A respirator or a medical mask  should be worn by to caregivers at any setting where care is provided to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, including home care, long-term care facilities and community care settings In settings where there is community or cluster transmission of SARS-CoV-2, irrespective of vaccination status or history of prior infection, wearing a well-fitting mask that covers the nose and mouth is recommended for the public when interacting with individuals who are not members of their household:

    • in indoor settings where ventilation is known to be poor or cannot be assessed, or the ventilation system is not properly maintained, regardless of whether physical distancing of at least 1 metre can be maintained;
    • in indoor settings that have adequate ventilation if physical distancing of at least 1 metre cannot be maintained; or
    • in outdoor settings where physical distancing of at least 1 metre cannot be maintained.

    It’s not always easy to determine the quality of ventilation. If you have any doubts, it’s safer to simply wear a mask. While wearing a mask, you should continue to maintain physical distance from others as much as possible. Wearing a mask does not mean you can have close contact with people. A r espirator or a medical mask should be worn by health workers along with other personal protective equipment (PPE) – gown, gloves and eye protection – before entering a room where there is a patient with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

    • Respirators or medical masks should be worn throughout their shifts, apart from when eating, drinking or needing to change the respirator or medical mask for specific reasons.
    • Health workers must remember to combine hand hygiene with any time they touch their respirator or medical mask or face, before and after putting on and removing them, as well as before they touch them to readjust them.
    • Health workers should continue to physically distance and avoid unnecessary close contact with colleagues and others in the healthcare facility when not providing patient care.

    Respirators should be worn in the following situations:

      • In healthcare facilities where ventilation is known to be poor or cannot be assessed, or the ventilation system is not properly maintained.
      • Based on health workers’ values and preferences and on their perception of what offers the highest protection possible to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.

      Further resources:

      • Healthcare workers can consult our  OpenWHO  course on how to put on and remove personal protective equipment.
      • Read our guidance on ‘ Infection prevention and control during health care when coronavirus disease (‎COVID-19)‎ is suspected or confirmed ‘.

      Medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are:

      • composed of 3 layers of synthetic nonwoven materials
      • configured to have filtration layers sandwiched in the middle
      • available in different thicknesses
      • have various levels of fluid-resistance and filtration

      Respirators (also known as filtering facepiece respirators – FFP) are available at different performance levels such as FFP2, FFP3, N95, N99, N100. Medical masks and respirator masks are similar in their filtration value. However, respirators also have a tight fit around the wearer face as the model and size of the respirator is specific to the wearer to ensure an adequate seal. Respirator masks are designed to protect health workers who provide care to COVID-19 patients in settings and areas where aerosol generating procedures are undertaken.

      1. Depending on the type, masks can be used for either protection of healthy persons or to prevent onward transmission, or both;
      2. They are also recommended for health workers providing care to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients in settings where ventilation is known to be poor or cannot be assessed or the ventilation system is not properly maintained Health workers should be fit tested before using a respirator to ensure that they are wearing the correct size;
      See also:  Cheapest Place In Spain To Go On Holiday?

      Wearing a loose-fitting respirator will not offer the same level of protection to the wearer as it may allow small particles to get inside the mask where there are gaps, for example through the side. Filtration, breathability and fit are all important. If you purchase a non-medical mask, check the labels to make sure it complies with the ASTM F3502 standard or CEN Working Agreement 17553. If you choose to make your own mask, it should be made of three layers of fabric:

      • Inner layer of absorbent material, such as cotton.
      • Middle layer of non-woven non-absorbent material, such as polypropylene.
      • Outer layer of non-absorbent material, such as polyester or polyester blend.

      Watch the video on WHO’s recommended fabric mask materials and composition for more information. For either type of mask, you should choose the one that fits your face well – cover your nose, cheeks and chin without leaving gaps on the sides. Masks with vents or exhalation valves are not advised because they allow unfiltered breath to escape the mask.

      When health workers are caring for COVID-19 patients, they should wear a respirator or a medical mask. If COVID-19 is widely spreading, visitors, along with health workers and caregivers, should wear a well-fitting medical mask at all times when caring for non-COVID-19 patients and in all common areas, even if physical distancing can be maintained.

      Health workers, caregivers and visitors must remember to combine hand hygiene with any time they touch their medical mask or face, before and after putting on and removing them, as well as before they touch them to readjust them. Health workers should continue to physically distance and avoid unnecessary close contact with colleagues and others in the facility when not providing patient care.

      Inpatients are not required to wear a medical mask in general. A mask may be required if physical distancing of at least 1 metre cannot be maintained (e. , during examinations or bedside visits) or when the patient is outside of their care area (e.

      , when being transported), provided the patient is able to tolerate the mask and there are no contraindications. How to put on and wear a fabric mask:

      • Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
      • Inspect the mask for tears or holes, do not use a mask that is damaged.
      • Adjust the mask to cover your mouth, nose, and chin, leaving no gaps on the sides.
      • Place the straps behind your head or ears. Do not cross the straps because this can cause gaps on the side of your face.
      • Avoid touching the mask while wearing it. If you touch it, clean your hands.
      • Change your mask if it gets dirty or wet.

      How to take off and store a fabric mask:

      • Clean your hands before taking off the mask.
      • Take off the mask by removing it from the ear loops, without touching the front of the mask.
      • If your fabric mask is not dirty or wet and you plan to reuse it, put it in a clean resealable bag. If you need to use it again, hold the mask at the elastic loops when removing it from the bag. Clean your mask once a day.
      • Clean your hands after removing the mask.

      How to clean a fabric mask:

      • Wash fabric masks in soap or detergent and preferably hot water (at least 60 degrees Centigrade/140 degrees Fahrenheit) at least once a day.
      • If it is not possible to wash the mask in hot water, then wash it in soap/detergent and room temperature water, followed by boiling the mask for 1 minute.

      Watch our ‘How to wear a fabric mask’ video for a demonstration. How to put on and take off a medical mask:

      • Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
      • Inspect the mask for tears or holes; do not use a mask that has previously been worn or is damaged.
      • Verify which side is the top – this is usually where the metal strip is.
      • Then, identify the inside of the mask, which is usually the white side.
      • Place the mask on your face covering your nose, mouth and chin, making sure that there are no gaps between your face and the mask. Place the straps behind your head or ears. Do not cross the straps because this can cause gaps on the side of the mask.
      • Pinch the metal strip so it moulds to the shape of your nose.
      • Remember, do not touch the front of the mask while using it to avoid contamination; if you accidentally touch it, clean your hands.

      How to take off a medical mask:

      • Before touching the mask, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
      • Remove the straps from behind the head or ears, without touching the front of the mask.
      • As you remove the mask, lean forward and pull the mask away from your face.
      • Medical masks are for single use only; discard the mask immediately, preferably into a closed bin.
      • Clean your hands after touching the mask.
      • Be aware of the condition of the mask; replace it if it gets soiled or damp.

      Even when you’re in an area of COVID-19 transmission, masks should not be worn during vigorous physical activity because of the risk of reducing your breathing capacity. No matter how intensely you exercise, keep at least 1 metre away from others, and if you’re indoors, make sure there is adequate ventilation. .

      How long does the virus that causes COVID-19 last on surfaces?

      Recent research evaluated the survival of the COVID-19 virus on different surfaces and reported that the virus can remain viable for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, up to four hours on copper, and up to 24 hours on cardboard.

      How is the COVID-19 disease transmitted?

      “Covid” redirects here. Not to be confused with Corvidae.

      Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
      Other names COVID, (the) coronavirus
      Transmission and life-cycle of SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19.
      Pronunciation
      Specialty Infectious disease
      Symptoms Fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, vomiting, loss of taste or smell; some cases asymptomatic
      Complications Pneumonia , viral sepsis , acute respiratory distress syndrome , kidney failure, cytokine release syndrome , respiratory failure , pulmonary fibrosis , paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome , long COVID
      Usual onset 2–14 days (typically 5) from infection
      Duration 5 days to chronic
      Causes Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
      Diagnostic method rRT‑PCR testing , CT scan , Rapid antigen test
      Prevention Vaccination , face coverings, quarantine , physical/ social distancing , ventilation, hand washing
      Treatment Symptomatic and supportive
      Frequency 596,238,011 confirmed cases
      Deaths 6,453,948

      Coronavirus disease 2019 ( COVID-19 ) is a contagious disease caused by a virus, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first known case was identified in Wuhan , China, in December 2019. The disease quickly spread worldwide, resulting in the COVID-19 pandemic. Symptoms of COVID‑19 are variable, but often include fever, cough, headache, fatigue, breathing difficulties , loss of smell , and loss of taste.

      1. Symptoms may begin one to fourteen days after exposure to the virus;
      2. At least a third of people who are infected do not develop noticeable symptoms;
      3. Of those people who develop symptoms noticeable enough to be classed as patients, most (81%) develop mild to moderate symptoms (up to mild pneumonia ), while 14% develop severe symptoms ( dyspnoea , hypoxia , or more than 50% lung involvement on imaging), and 5% develop critical symptoms ( respiratory failure , shock , or multiorgan dysfunction );

      Older people are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms. Some people continue to experience a range of effects ( long COVID ) for months after recovery, and damage to organs has been observed. Multi-year studies are underway to further investigate the long-term effects of the disease.

      1. COVID‑19 transmits when people breathe air contaminated by droplets and small airborne particles containing the virus;
      2. The risk of breathing these is highest when people are in close proximity, but they can be inhaled over longer distances, particularly indoors;

      Transmission can also occur if splashed or sprayed with contaminated fluids in the eyes, nose or mouth, and, rarely, via contaminated surfaces. People remain contagious for up to 20 days, and can spread the virus even if they do not develop symptoms. COVID-19 testing methods to detect the virus’s nucleic acid include real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT‑PCR), transcription-mediated amplification , and reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT‑LAMP) from a nasopharyngeal swab.

      Several COVID-19 vaccines have been approved and distributed in various countries, which have initiated mass vaccination campaigns. Other preventive measures include physical or social distancing , quarantining , ventilation of indoor spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, hand washing , and keeping unwashed hands away from the face.

      The use of face masks or coverings has been recommended in public settings to minimise the risk of transmission. While work is underway to develop drugs that inhibit the virus, the primary treatment is symptomatic. Management involves the treatment of symptoms , supportive care , isolation , and experimental measures.

      What can I do to prevent COVID-19 during grocery shopping?

      There is currently no evidence that people can catch COVID-19 from food, including fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet and their consumption should be encouraged. Read more in the COVID-19 and food safety: guidance for food businesses.

      1. Wash fruit and vegetables the same way you would in any other circumstance;
      2. Before handling them, wash your hands with soap and water;
      3. Then wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with clean water, especially if you eat them raw;

      Coronaviruses need a live animal or human host to multiply and survive and cannot multiply on the surface of food packages. It is not necessary to disinfect food packaging materials, but hands should be properly washed after handling food packages and before eating ( see question 10 of Questions relating to food businesses ).

      There is currently no evidence that people can catch COVID-19 from food. The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed at temperatures similar to that of other known viruses and bacteria found in food. Foods such as meat, poultry and eggs should always be thoroughly cooked to at least 70°C.

      Before cooking, raw animal products should be handled with care to avoid cross-contamination with cooked foods. The WHO 5-Keys to Safer Food provides further information. Yes, it is generally safe to go grocery shopping and to markets by following the below prevention measures:

      • Clean your hands with sanitizer before entering the store.
      • Cover a cough or sneeze in your bent elbow or tissue.
      • Maintain at least a 1-metre distance from others, and if you can’t maintain this distance, wear a mask (many stores now require a mask).
      • Once home, wash your hands thoroughly and also after handling and storing your purchased products.

      There is currently no confirmed case of COVID-19 transmitted through food or food packaging. More information on masks is available here. For more recommendations on how to minimize the risk of transmission of emerging pathogens in traditional food markets, see the WHO recommendations to reduce risk of transmission of emerging pathogens from animals to humans in live animal markets or animal product markets.

      • Yes, it is safe to have groceries delivered if the provider follows good personal and food hygiene practices;
      • After accepting food/grocery deliveries, hands should be properly washed;
      • Regular household cleaning and disinfection products will effectively eliminate the virus from household surfaces;

      For cleaning and disinfecting households with suspected or confirmed COVID19, surface virucidal disinfectants, such as 0. 05% sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) and products based on ethanol (at least 70%), should be used. The immune system requires the support of many nutrients.

      It is recommended to consume a variety of foods for a healthy and balanced diet, including whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and animal source foods. There is no single food that will prevent you from catching COVID-19.

      For more information on a healthy diet, see the Healthy diet fact sheet. No. There is currently no guidance on micronutrient supplementation for the prevention of COVID-19 in healthy individuals or for the treatment of COVID-19. Micronutrients are critical for a well-functioning immune system and play a vital role in promoting health and nutritional well-being.

      • Wherever possible, micronutrient intakes should come from a nutritionally balanced and diverse diet, including from fruits, vegetables and animal source foods;
      • Vitamin D can be made in the skin by exposure to sunlight or obtained through the diet from natural sources (e;

      fatty fishes such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, fish liver oils, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks), or from vitamin D-fortified foods or vitamin D-containing supplements. In situations where individuals’ vitamin D status is already marginal or where foods rich in vitamin D (including vitamin D-fortified foods) are not consumed, and exposure to sunlight is limited, a vitamin D supplement in doses of the recommended nutrient intakes (200-600 IU, depending on age) or according to national guidelines may be considered.

      • See WHO guidance on Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition;
      • No;
      • There is currently no evidence to support the use of herbal teas or herbal supplements to prevent or cure COVID-19;
      • No;
      • Probiotics are live microorganisms that are generally added to foods or used as a supplement to the diet to confer a health benefit;

      However, there is currently no evidence to support the use of probiotics to help prevent or cure COVID-19. No. T here is no evidence that eating ginger has protected people from COVID-19. However, ginger is a food that may have some antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

      Can asymptomatic people transmit COVID-19?

      How is the virus that causes COVID-19 most commonly transmitted between people? Current evidence suggests that COVID-19 spreads between people through direct, indirect (through contaminated objects or surfaces), or close contact with infected people via mouth and nose secretions. These include saliva, respiratory secretions or secretion droplets. These are released from the mouth or nose when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings, for example. People who are in close contact (within 1 metre) with an infected person can catch COVID-19 when those infectious droplets get into their mouth, nose or eyes.

      To avoid contact with these droplets, it is important to stay  at least  1 metre away from others, clean hands frequently, and cover the mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when sneezing or coughing. When physical distancing (standing one metre or more away) is not possible, wearing a fabric mask is an important measure to protect others.

      Cleaning hands frequently is also critical. What are the other ways in which the COVID-19 virus could be transmitted? People with the virus in their noses and throats may leave infected droplets on objects and surfaces (called fomites) when they sneeze, cough on, or touch surfaces, such as tables, doorknobs and handrails.

      Other people may become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, noses or mouths before cleaning their hands. This is why it is essential to thoroughly clean hands regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub product, and to clean surfaces regularly.

      What do we know about aerosol transmission? Some medical procedures can produce very small droplets (called aerosolized droplet nuclei or aerosols) that are able to stay suspended in the air for longer periods of time. When such medical procedures are conducted on people infected with COVID-19 in health facilities, these aerosols can contain the COVID-19 virus.

      These aerosols may potentially be inhaled by others if they are not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. Therefore, it is essential that all health workers performing these medical procedures take specific airborne protection measures, including using appropriate personal protective equipment.

      Visitors should not be permitted in areas where such medical procedures are being performed. There have been reported outbreaks of COVID-19 in some closed settings, such as restaurants, nightclubs, places of worship or places of work where people may be shouting, talking, or singing.

      In these outbreaks, aerosol transmission, particularly in these indoor locations where there are crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected persons spend long periods of time with others, cannot be ruled out.

      More studies are urgently needed to investigate such instances and assess their significance for transmission of COVID-19. When can infected people transmit the virus? Based on what we currently know, transmission of COVID-19 is primarily occurring from people when they have symptoms, and can also occur just before they develop symptoms, when they are in close proximity to others for prolonged periods of time.

      While someone who never develops symptoms can also pass the virus to others, it is still not clear to what extent this occurs and more research is needed in this area. Limiting contact with people who are infected with COVID-19, frequent, thorough, hand cleansing and wearing a mask when at least 1 metre of physical distance can’t be guaranteed, help to break chains of transmission.

      Can people without symptoms transmit the virus? Yes, infected people can transmit the virus both when they have symptoms and when they don’t have symptoms. This is why it is important that all people who are infected are identified by testing, isolated, and, depending on the severity of their disease, receive medical care.

      Even people confirmed to have COVID-19 but who do not have symptoms should be isolated to limit their contact with others. These measures break chains of transmission. This is why it is always important to stay at least 1 metre from others, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a bent elbow or tissue, clean hands regularly, and stay home if you become unwell or if asked.

      In areas where there is widespread transmission, it is also important that people wear a fabric mask where physical distancing and other control measures cannot be implemented. More information on the use of masks can be found  here. What is the difference between people who are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic? Don’t they both mean someone without symptoms? Yes, both terms refer to  people who do not have symptoms.

      • The difference is that asymptomatic refers to people who are infected but never develop symptoms during the period of infection while pre-symptomatic refers to infected people who have not yet developed symptoms but do go on to develop symptoms later;

      This distinction is important for public health strategies to control transmission. For example, laboratory data suggests that people might be the most infectious at or around the time they develop symptoms. Therefore, in WHO’s case  investigation  and contact tracing  guidance , it is recommended that people be considered ‘contacts’ if they had contact with an infected person from 2 days before that he/she developed symptoms. WHO and our partners are working to gain a better understanding about:

      • different transmission routes, including through droplets of different sizes, physical contact, fomites, and the role of airborne transmission in the absence of aerosol generating procedures;
      • the dose of virus required for transmission to occur;
      • the characteristics of people and situations that facilitate superspreading events such as those observed in some closed settings;
      • the proportion of infected people who remain asymptomatic throughout the course of their infection;
      • the proportion of truly asymptomatic persons who transmit the virus to others;
      • the specific factors that drive asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission;
      • and the proportion of all infections transmitted from asymptomatic and presymptomatic individuals.

      What does WHO recommend in order to stop or prevent COVID-19? WHO recommends the following  set of measures to prevent person-to-person spread   of COVID-19

      • Limit close contact between infectious people and others. Ensure a physical distance of at least 1 metre from others. In areas where COVID-19 is circulating and this distance cannot be guaranteed, wear a  mask.
      • Identify infected people quickly so that they can be isolated and cared for and all of their close contacts can be  quarantined  in appropriate facilities.
      • Clean hands and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or bent elbow at all times.
      • Avoid crowded places, close-contact settings and confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.
      • Ensure good ventilation in indoor settings, including homes and offices.
      • Stay home if feeling unwell and call your medical provider as soon as possible to determine whether medical care is needed.
      • In countries or areas where COVID-19 is circulating, health workers should use medical masks continuously during all routine activities in clinical areas in health care facilities.
      • Health workers should also use additional personal protective equipment and  precautions when caring for COVID-19 patients. More details for medical professionals are available  here  and  here.
      • Workplaces should have in place protective measures, details  here.
      See also:  Mortgage In Spain Non Resident?

      How can I protect myself from COVID-19? See more information on how to protect yourself  here. What is the purpose of a scientific brief on transmission? WHO regularly issues scientific briefs to explain topics in depth for a scientific audience. The brief on COVID-19 transmission summarizes what is known about how the virus spreads between people, who can transmit the virus and when people pass the infection from one to another, and the implications for preventive measures to be adopted.

      1. Is more information needed to better understand COVID-19 transmission? Yes, COVID-19 is a new disease;
      2. While more information becomes available every day, many questions about transmission remain;
      3. A vast effort by research teams and networks around the world is underway to answer those questions;

      It also outlines some key areas where more research is needed and how these results will help inform advice and guidance. This information is important for understanding how best to prevent infection and limit the spread of the virus between people. WHO scientific briefs are living documents, meaning they are updated as more studies become available.

      1. COVID-19 is a new disease and we are learning more every day;
      2. How does WHO gather information? WHO continues to review information provided by published studies, including those that and are available as “pre-prints” (non-peer-reviewed manuscripts that are uploaded to pre-print servers);

      WHO also identifies critical questions that need to be answered to understand and improve our response to COVID-19 and guides research efforts on these issues. WHO convenes regular teleconferences with global expert networks of different scientific disciplines to evaluate all available studies and determine how the available evidence, best practices and experience of frontline workers can be translated into guidance and advice.

      What are the organs most affected by COVID‐19?

      The lungs are the organs most affected by COVID‐19.

      Are smokers more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19?

      Tobacco kills more than 8 million people globally every year. More than 7 million of these deaths are from direct tobacco use and around 1. 2 million are due to non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Tobacco smoking is a known risk factor for many respiratory infections and increases the severity of respiratory diseases.

      A review of studies by public health experts convened by WHO on 29 April 2020 found that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19, compared to non-smokers. COVID-19 is an infectious disease that primarily attacks the lungs.

      Smoking impairs lung function making it harder for the body to fight off coronaviruses and other diseases. Tobacco is also a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes which put people with these conditions at higher risk for developing severe illness when affected by COVID-19.

      Available research suggests that smokers are at higher risk of developing severe disease and death. WHO is constantly evaluating new research, including research that examines the link between tobacco use, nicotine use, and COVID-19.

      WHO urges researchers, scientists and the media to be cautious about amplifying unproven claims that tobacco or nicotine could reduce the risk of COVID-19. There is currently insufficient information to confirm any link between tobacco or nicotine in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

      Nicotine replacement therapies, such as gum and patches are designed to help smokers quit tobacco. WHO recommends that smokers take immediate steps to quit by using proven methods such as toll-free quit lines, mobile text-messaging programmes, and nicotine replacement therapies.

      Within 20 minutes of quitting, elevated heart rate and blood pressure drop. After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the bloodstream drops to normal. Within 2-12 weeks, circulation improves and lung function increases. After 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease.

      Which types of settings does COVID-19 spread more easily?

      The English version was updated on 23 December 2021. We know that the disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which spreads between people in several different ways.

      • Current evidence suggests that the virus spreads mainly between people who are in close contact with each other, for example at a conversational distance. The virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe. Another person can then contract the virus when infectious particles that pass through the air are inhaled at short range (this is often called short-range aerosol or short-range airborne transmission) or if infectious particles come into direct contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth (droplet transmission).
      • The virus can also spread in poorly ventilated and/or crowded indoor settings, where people tend to spend longer periods of time. This is because aerosols can remain suspended in the air or travel farther than conversational distance (this is often called long-range aerosol or long-range airborne transmission).
      • People may also become infected when touching their eyes, nose or mouth after touching surfaces or objects that have been contaminated by the virus.

      Further research is ongoing to better understand the spread of the virus and which settings are most risky and why. Research is also under way to study virus variants that are emerging and why some are more transmissible. For updated information on SARS-CoV-2 variants, please read the weekly epidemiologic updates. Whether or not they have symptoms, infected people can be contagious and the virus can spread from them to other people.

      Laboratory data suggests that infected people appear to be most infectious just before they develop symptoms (namely 2 days before they develop symptoms) and early in their illness. People who develop severe disease can be infectious for longer.

      While someone who never develops symptoms can pass the virus to others, it is still not clear how frequently this occurs and more research is needed in this area. Both terms refer to people who do not have symptoms. The difference is that ‘asymptomatic’ refers to people who are infected but never develop any symptoms, while ‘pre-symptomatic’ refers to infected people who have not yet developed symptoms but go on to develop symptoms later.

      1. Yes, any situation in which people are in close proximity to one another for long periods of time increases the risk of transmission;
      2. Indoor locations, especially settings where there is poor ventilation, are riskier than outdoor locations;

      Activities where more particles are expelled from the mouth, such as singing or breathing heavily during exercise, also increase the risk of transmission. The “Three C’s” are a useful way to think about this. They describe settings where transmission of the COVID-19 virus spreads more easily:

      • Crowded places;
      • Close-contact settings, especially where people have conversations very near each other;
      • Confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.

      The risk of COVID-19 spreading is especially high in places where these “3Cs” overlap. In health facilities where people are receiving treatment for COVID-19, there is an increased risk of infection during medical procedures called aerosol generating procedures. These can produce very small droplets that can stay suspended in the air for longer periods of time and spread beyond conversational distances (typically 1 meter). This is why health workers performing these procedures or in settings where these procedures are performed should take specific airborne protection measures, including using appropriate personal protective equipment such as respirators. Follow these basic precautions:

      • Follow local guidance: Check to see what national, regional and local authorities are advising so you have the most relevant information for where you are.
      • Keep your distance: Stay at least 1 metre away from others, even if they don’t appear to be sick, since people can have the virus without having symptoms.
      • Wear a mask:  Wear a well-fitting three-layer mask, especially when you can’t physically distance, or if you’re indoors. Clean your hands before putting on and taking off a mask.
        • Read our  Masks and COVID-19 Q&A  and watch our  videos  on how to wear and make masks.
      • Avoid crowded places, poorly ventilated, indoor locations and avoid prolonged contact with others. Spend more time outdoors than indoors.
      • Ventilation is important: Open windows when indoors to increase the amount of outdoor air.
      • Avoid touching surfaces, especially in public settings or health facilities, in case people infected with COVID-19 have touched them. Clean surfaces regularly with standard disinfectants.
      • Frequently clean your hands with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub. If you can, carry alcohol-based rub with you and use it often.
      • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a bent elbow or tissue, throwing used tissues into a closed bin right away. Then wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
      • Get vaccinated: When it’s your turn, get vaccinated. Follow local guidance and recommendations about vaccination.

      Read our  public advice page  for more information. Read our  Q&A about how to stay safe when attending and organizing small gatherings Read our  Q&A about ventilation and air conditioning and COVID-19.

      Can I excercise outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic?

      Physical activity includes all forms of active recreation, sports participation, cycling and walking, as well as activities you do at work and around the home and garden. It doesn’t have to be exercise or sport – play, dance, gardening, and even house cleaning and carrying heavy shopping is all part of being physically active.

      1. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when so many of us are very restricted in our movements, it is even more important for people of all ages and abilities to be as active as possible;
      2. Even a short break from sitting, by doing 3-5 minutes of physical movement, such as walking or stretching, will help ease muscle strain, relieve mental tension and improve blood circulation and muscle activity;

      Regular physical activity can also help to give the day a routine and be a way of staying in contact with family and friends. Regular physical activity benefits both the body and mind. It can reduce high blood pressure, help manage weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and various cancers.

      1. It also improves bone and muscle strength and increases balance, flexibility and fitness;
      2. For older people, activities that improve balance help to prevent falls and injuries;
      3. For children, regular physical activity helps support healthy growth and development and reduce the risk of disease in later life, and through regular activity, children can develop fundamental movement skills and build social relationships;

      Regular physical activity also improves mental health and can reduce the risk of depression, cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia – and improve overall feelings of wellbeing. WHO has detailed recommendations on the amount of physical activity people of all ages should do to benefit their health and wellbeing. (available here for children under age of 5 and here for youth, adults and olders) Here are the minimum levels we recommend: Infants under the age of 1 year need to

      • be physically active several times a day.

      Children under 5 years of age

      • should spend at least 180 minutes a day in physical activities, with 3-4 year-olds being moderately or vigorously active for an hour a day.

      Children and adolescents aged 5-17years

      • all children and adolescents should do at least 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity, including activities that strengthen muscle and bone, at least 3 days per week.

      Adults aged 18 years and over

      • should do a total of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity throughout the week, including muscle-strengthening activities 2 or more days per week.
      • older adults with poor mobility should do physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on 3 or more days per week.

      But any physical activity is better than none. Start with small amounts and gradually increase duration, frequency and intensity over time. Being active during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for us all. Because the opportunities to be physically active seem to be more restricted, it is even more important to plan in every day the ways to be active and to reduce the time spent sitting for long periods.

      Put simply, it is a critical time to ensure we all move more and sit less. Do not exercise if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Stay home and rest, seek medical attention and call in advance.

      Follow the directions of your local health authority. If you are able to go for a walk or bicycle ride always practice physical distancing and wash your hands with water and soap before you leave, when you get to where you are going, and as soon as you get home.

      • If water and soap are not immediately available, use alcohol-based hand rub;
      • If you go to a park or public open space to walk, run or exercise always practice physical distancing and wash your hands with water and soap, before you leave, when you get to where you are going, and as soon as you get home;

      If water and soap are not immediately available, use alcohol-based hand rub. Follow the directions of your local health authority in regards to any restrictions on the number of people with you and/or restrictions on the use of public outdoor play or exercise equipment.

      If you are not regularly active start slowly and with low intensity activities , like walking and low impact exercises. Start with shorter amounts, like 5-10 minutes, and gradually build up to 30 minutes or more continuously over a few weeks.

      It is better and safer to be active for short periods more frequently than to try and be active for long periods when you are not used to it. Choose the right activity so that you reduce the risk of injury and that you enjoy the activity. Choose the right intensity according to your health status and fitness level.

      • You should be able to breath comfortably and hold a conversation while you do light- and moderate-intensity physical activity;
      • Try and reduce long periods of time spent sitting , whether for work, studying, watching TV, reading, or using social media or playing games using screens;

      Reduce sitting for long periods by taking short 3-5 minute breaks every 20-30 minutes. Simply stand up and stretch or even better, take a walk around the house, up and down the stairs, or into the garden. By just moving around and stretching you can improve your health and wellbeing.

      For more ideas and illustrations of healthy stretches see here. Set up a regular routine to be active every day , by planning a physical activity or exercise break either by yourself, by joining an online class, or by setting up a time to be active online with your friends or colleagues.

      Making a specific time to be active helps ensure you get your daily physical activity. Put the time in your diary, and it will help remind you. Stick with it, as this will help you build a regular routine, and help you adjust to new ways of working, study and family life under COVID-19 restrictions Be active with your family and friends , connecting with others can help you and your family in the home and elsewhere spend time together and be active.

      • Planning time to be active with your children with active games at home, walks in the parks, or cycling can be a way the whole family can relax, be together and be active and healthy whilst at home;
      • Set yourself and your family Be Active goals, by choosing a specific type of activity, time of day and/or number of minutes you will do every day;

      Get each family member to choose their own goal which sets a bit of a challenge but is realistic with help from family or friends and motivation. Record your progress on a weekly activity chart and, if you think it would help, reward yourself with something you value. For Infants under 1 year of age

      • Spend regular time doing floor-based play with your baby in a prone position (‘tummy time’) and spread this throughout the day while baby is awake.

      For Children under 5 years of age

      • Active play in and around the home – invent games which involve being active and can develop skills in throwing, catching, kicking, as well as developing posture and balance.
      • Active play and games where children get out of breath, such as running around, skipping and jumping.

      For Children and adolescents aged 5-17 years

      • Active games and active play with family.
      • Join in online active games or activity classes, also look for online physical education classes as well as exercise routines suitable for adolescents.
      • Set up playground games indoors such as Jump rope and hop-scotch – make up new games and challenges that involve being active.
      • Learn a new skill – for example try an learn to juggle.
      • Encourage doing some muscle strength training activities such as lifting weights or use improvised weight such as bottles full of water or sand.

      For Adults

      • Climb up the stairs as much as you can, think of it as an opportunity to be active.
      • Use household chores as a way to be more physical activity.
      • Join in an online exercise class or make up your own routine to music you enjoy that uses the major muscle groups and raises you heart rate.
      • Do some muscle strengthening activities such as lifting weights or improvise using full bottles of water or simply use your own body weight and do sets of press ups, sit ups and squats.
      • Make time for fun, such as dancing to music.

      Where to get more help and information For more ideas use internet search platforms and check out social media for suggestions and access to free resources suitable for children of all ages and adults of all fitness and abilities.

      What is the risk of contracting COVID-19 while exercising?

      See full answer There is a potential risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 infection while exercising and this applies to both athletes and coaches. This is a particular issue in settings where athletes train in groups, engage in contact sports, share equipment or use common areas, including locker rooms.

      Transmission could occur through direct contact with an infected individual, indirect exposure to the virus through a contaminated object, or via aerosols/droplets from an infected individual. Nevertheless, in light of the benefits of regular physical activity to physical and mental health, it is important to remain active during the COVID-19 pandemic, while respecting physical distancing and personal hygiene recommendations.

      People should not exercise if they have symptoms of COVID-19 such as a cough, fever or difficulty breathing.

      What can I do on a daily basis to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic?

      Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces every day. – This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, taps, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

      • Inform yourself of the special measures taken in your community as well as the services and the sources of reliable information that are availableduring the health emergency (e. home deliveries, psychosocial support, health ministry website, alternative access to your pension).
      • Create a list of the basic supplies that you will need for at least two weeks and try to get these delivered where possible (e. non-perishable food items, household products, batteries for assistive devices you may use, and prescription medicines). Alternatively, ask family members, caregivers, neighbours or community leaders to help with ordering and/or delivery of groceries or prescription medicines.
      • Make a list of emergency numbers (e. COVID-19 local helpline, nearby hospital and health emergencies numbers, hotline for victims of abuse, psychosocial support hotline) and support contacts (e. family members and friends, main caregiver, community care worker, associations of older persons).
        • Learn more by clicking here;
        • There is a lot that you can do to prepare for COVID-19 in your community;
        • Make sure that your mobile phone credit is topped up and identify a safe place to charge your phone regularly so that you can keep in contact with family and friends and reach emergency services if needed;

        If you live alone, you may wish to share this list and ask your neighbours, family or caregiver to be in touch regularly, for example, by phone or video chat.

      • Discuss with your health-care worker how your health needs can be addressed during COVID-19. This may involve postponing non-urgent appointments, talking to your doctor or health-care worker by phone or video chat instead of in person and/or revising your vaccination schedule.
      • If you rely on the support provided by a caregiver , identify with him or her another person that you trust to support your daily living and care needs in case your caregiver is unable to continue to provide care. Together, you can note down all the personal care and assistance that you require and how it should be provided and share it with this trusted person so that they can be ready to provide care in case of need.
      • If you are the primary caregiver of another person who is care dependent (e. grandchild, older spouse, child with a disability), identify a person that you and the person that you care for trust to take on your caregiving responsibilities in case you fall sick. Local authorities or volunteer organizations that provide support in these situations in your community might be able to help.
      • If multiple people live in your home, if possible prepare a separate room or space in your home so that anyone showing symptoms compatible with COVID-19 can be isolated from others. If you do not have space for self-isolation, contact your community leaders or local health authorities to see if there is community space that could help you or other household members self-isolate.
      • Think about what matters most to you regarding care and support, including medical treatment, in case something happens to you and you are unable to make your own decisions. If you want to develop an advanced care plan to record your treatment and care wishes, you can talk about it with your health-care worker or someone that you trust. You can write down your wishes and  share them with people you trust.

      You can follow these 10 steps to keep healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      1. Keep to your regular routines as much as possible and maintain a daily schedule for yourself including sleeping, meals and activities.
      2. Stay socially connected. Speak to loved ones and people you trust every day or as much as possible, using the telephone, video-calls or messaging, through writing letters, etc. Use this time to share your feelings and to do common hobbies together.
      3. Be physically active every day. Reduce long periods of sitting and set up a daily routine that includes at least 30 minutes of exercise. Make sure to do activities that are safe and appropriate for your level of physical fitness as indicated by your health-care worker. You can use household chores as a way to keep physically active, follow an on-line class (e.
      4. Drink water and eat healthy and well-balanced meals. This will keep you hydrated, help strengthen your immune system and lower the risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases. For nutrition advice click here.
      5. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 because smoking can affect lung capacity and because the act of smoking increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth. Drinking alcohol not only disturbs your sleep but may also increase your risk of falls, weaken your immune system, and interact with any prescription medicines that you are taking.
      6. Take breaks from news coverage about COVID-19 as prolonged exposure can cause feelings of anxiety and despair. Seek updates at specific times of the day from a reliable source like the WHO website (click here)  or national or local channels in order to help you distinguish facts from rumours or scams.
      7. Engage in hobbies and activities that you enjoy or learn something new. Cognitive exercise such as reading a book or doing crosswords/Sudoku will keep your mind active and distract you from worrying. You can also use this time to keep a well-being diary ( click here for an example. )
      8. If you have ongoing health conditions , take your prescribed medicines and follow the advice of your health-care worker regarding any health visits or phone consultations.
      9. If you have an emergency medical condition that is not related to COVID-19 , contact health emergencies immediately and ask what you should do next. Follow the instructions of the health-care worker.
      10. If stress, worry, fear or sadness get in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row, seek psychosocial support from available services in your community. If you are subject to abuse or violence from others, tell someone you trust and report this to the relevant authorities. You can also seek support from dedicated helplines that may be available in your country.
      • If you present symptoms related to COVID-19, seek medical advice. Call by phone first if possible and give information about pre-existing health conditions and medicines that you are taking. Follow the instructions of the health-care worker and monitor your symptoms regularly.
      • If you have difficulty breathing, contact health emergencies immediately as this may be due to a respiratory infection. Call by phone first if possible to learn what to do next.
      • If you live with others, make sure that you isolate yourself as soon as you suspect infection by using the space that you identified in advance. You and other members of the household should also wear a medical mask as much as possible if these are available. You can learn how to wear a mask here.
      • If you live with others and home care for COVID-19 is advised by your health-care worker , other household members should follow available guidance on home care for patients with COVID-19 presenting with mild symptoms and management of their contacts (guidance here ). See related flyers for people who are ill , for household members and for caregivers.
      • If you live alone and home care for COVID-10 is advised by your health-care worker , ask your family, friends, neighbours, health-care worker or a local volunteer organisation to check in on you regularly and to provide support as needed following existing guidance for caregivers (guidance here ).

      Losing someone close to you is always hard, whatever the cause. During these extraordinary circumstances, when your usual routine may be disrupted and when funerals may not be permitted, it may be even harder. Following this advice may help.

      • Do not criticise yourself for how you feel. When you lose a family member or friend to COVID-19, you may experience a range of emotions. You may also have difficulty sleeping or low levels of energy. All these feelings are normal and there is no right or wrong way to feel grief.
      • Allow yourself time to process your emotions in response to your loss. You may think that the sadness and pain that you feel will never go away, but in most cases, these feelings lessen over time.
      • Talk regularly with people that you trust about your feelings.
      • Keep to your routines as much as you feel able and try to focus on activities that bring you joy.
      • Seek advice and comfort from people that you trust (e. religious/faith leaders, mental health workers or other trusted members of your community) while maintaining physical distance (e. attending virtual mass).
      • Think of alternative ways to say goodbye to the person who passed away such as writing a letter or dedicating a drawing to your loved one. These are small actions that can help you cope with grief and loss, particularly in situations where funeral services are not permitted

      If you have been in contact with someone suspected or confirmed with COVID-19, or are feeling unwell, do not visit any health or long-term care facility. Follow the facility guidelines on any visit requirements, including screening and wearing a mask. Clean your hands before entering and try to keep at least a 1 metre distance from others. If you are 60 or over, or have a chronic condition like heart disease, take extra precautions by wearing a medical mask during your visit.

      Are there alternatives to fabric masks during school activities during the COVID-19 pandemic?

      These questions and answers were developed by WHO and UNICEF. Each country is facing a different situation in the pandemic with changing transmission intensity, circulating variants of concern, and capacities for health systems to respond. As the pandemic evolves, national policies for protective measures should be agile and adjusted as needed.

      1. Decisions about mask use in children should be driven by what is in the best interest of the child;
      2. Mask use should be flexible, so that children can continue play, education and everyday activities;
      3. These activities are an important part of child development and health;

      No child should be denied access to school or activities because of lack of a mask. Some countries and regions may have specific policies or recommendations in place. As always, follow the guidance provided by your country or local health department or ministry. WHO and UNICEF recommend the following:

      1. Children aged 5 years and under do not need to wear a mask because in this age group, they may not be able to properly wear a mask without help or supervision.

      2. In areas where SARS-CoV-2 is spreading , children ages 6-11 years are recommended to wear a well-fitted mask

      • in indoor settings where ventilation is poor or unknown, even if physical distancing of at least 1 meter can be maintained; and
      • in indoor settings that have adequate ventilation when physical distancing of at least 1 meter cannot be maintained.

      3. Adolescents 12 years or older should follow the same WHO recommendations for mask use as adults: A well-fitted mask that covers the nose and mouth should be worn in settings where SARS CoV-2 is spreading, regardless of vaccination status or history of prior infection, when interacting with individuals who are not members of their household:

      • in indoor settings where ventilation is known to be poor or cannot be assessed, or the ventilation system is not properly maintained, regardless of whether physical distancing of at least 1 meter can be maintained
      • in indoor settings that have adequate ventilation if physical distancing of at least 1 meter cannot be maintained; or
      • in outdoor settings where physical distancing of at least 1 meter cannot be maintained.

      As much as possible, it is important that children of all ages keep their hands clean when putting on and taking off their mask. A safe environment should be created for children who are not able to tolerate a mask, including requirements for caregivers, teachers or other adults interacting with the child to wear a mask and to be vaccinated against COVID-19 according to national vaccination policies.

      In general, children aged 5 years and under do not need to wear masks. However, there may be times when caregivers will choose to put a mask on a child – for example, if the child has contact with a person who is at a high risk of developing severe disease or is around someone who is ill.

      Children of this age should not wear masks for a long duration or without supervision. Children with cognitive or respiratory impairments, developmental disorders, disabilities or other specific health conditions who experience difficulties wearing a mask should not be required to do so.

      The individual decision for a child to wear a mask should be discussed in consultation with the child’s medical provider where possible. A safe environment should be created for children who are not able to tolerate a mask, including requirements for caregivers, teachers or other adults interacting with the child to wear a mask and to be vaccinated against COVID-19 according to national vaccination policies The use of a medical mask is recommended for children with a higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19.

      This includes children with underlying noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiac disease, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease, immunosuppression, HIV, obesity, mental disorders and cancer. Children should wear a well-fitted mask that overs the nose, mouth and chin. There are three types of masks that  WHO recommends for the public*:  

      • reusable non-medical masks that comply with standards
      • disposable medical masks 
      • other types of reusable non-medical masks, including homemade multi-layered (fabric) masks are acceptable when other options are not available.

      *More on the types of masks, how to choose them, and how to wear them is available here:  https://www. who. int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks Adults and children should follow the same principles for safe mask wearing. Some children may not be able to properly wear a mask without help or supervision.

      Parents or caregivers who help children with masks should be prepared to talk about mask safety and help children understand how to wear masks properly. If you are helping a child to put on or take off a mask, be sure to follow the same steps when you put on and take off your own mask.

      Children should be encouraged to clean their hands before putting on their mask and after taking it off and to wear a well-fitted mask that covers the nose, mouth and chin. It is important to not share masks with others. More information, including videos on how to put on, take off and care for a mask, can be found here: https://www.

      who. int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks Your child’s health is a priority, and there may be times when wearing a mask at home is the safest thing to do.

      If you have visitors, outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings. If visitors come into your home, it may be best for everyone to wear a mask if ventilation is poor or if physical distancing of at least 1 metre cannot be maintained. Children who have symptoms of COVID-19 should wear a medical mask at home when they are in shared spaces, as long as they can tolerate it. For more information refer to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Home care for families and caregivers In areas where SARS-CoV-2 is spreading, adults under the age of 60 interacting with children should wear a well-fitted mask that covers the nose and mouth when they are:

      • in indoor settings where ventilation is known to be poor or cannot be assessed, or the ventilation system is not properly maintained, regardless of whether or not physical distancing of at least 1 meter can be maintained; or
      • in indoor settings that have adequate ventilation if physical distancing of at least 1 meter cannot be maintained.

      Adults aged 60 or over, or who have any underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer, should wear a medical mask due to their higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. Children do not need to wear a mask when playing sports or doing physical activities, such as running, jumping or playing, as it may affect their breathing. When organizing sporting activities for children, it is important to encourage all other public health measures:

      • Choose outside venues over indoor ones.
      • If gatherings must be held indoors, open windows to ensure good ventilation.
      • Maintain at least a 1-metre distance from others and limit the number of children playing together.
      • Provide access to hand hygiene facilities and encourage children to use them.

      In the context of COVID-19, some children may not be able to wear a mask due to disabilities or specific situations such as speech classes where the teacher needs to see their mouths. In these cases, face shields may be considered an alternative to masks, but they do not provide the equivalent protection in keeping the virus from being transmitted to others. If a decision is made to use a face shield, it should cover the entire face, wrap around the sides of the face and extend to below the chin.

      What are the organs most affected by COVID‐19?

      The lungs are the organs most affected by COVID‐19.

      Are there precautions to take while eating in a restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic?

      Everyone should follow basic precautions:

      • Wash all parts of your hands frequently (at least 20 seconds if using an alcohol-based hand rub, and at least 40 seconds with soap and water), including after exchanging objects such as money or credit cards. Look for hand sanitizer stations and use them before going into dining halls, restaurants or bars.
      • Cover a cough or sneeze with a bent elbow or tissue, and throw away the tissue in a closed bin.
      • Maintain at least a 1 metre distance from staff and other guests. This includes avoiding hugging, kissing, or shaking hands. If you can’t guarantee the distance, wear a mask. Be sure to check local and national guidelines on the use of masks.

      Gym, beach, swimming pool, spa, sauna and steam bath facilities can be used safely with certain restrictions, as determined by national guidelines. In particular, look for the following measures:

      • a maximum number of people allowed to ensure adequate physical distancing
      • fabric mask policies required by local or national regulations
      • hand washing stations, especially in the toilet and change room areas
      • single use towels only 
      • a bin for guests to place their towel after use for laundering
      • individual use drinking water
      • tissues and waste containers with lids
      • high touch areas such as door handles disinfected regularly throughout the day

      There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 is transmitted by food, including fresh fruits and vegetables. The virus can be killed while cooking food at temperatures of at least 70°C. Food buffets are not recommended because of the risk of close physical contact with others, shared serving implements and multiple people touching the surfaces on the buffet. Indoor dining spaces should have a maximum of 4 people in 10 square metres.

      The distance from the back of one chair to the back of another chair should be at least 1 metre apart for both indoor and outdoor dining, and guests that face each other should also be at this distance.

      Guests should be reminded when entering and leaving the area to clean their hands. When the physical distance of at least 1 metre cannot be guaranteed, masks are recommended to be worn by staff and guests. More on masks, including who should wear what kind and when, is available here.

      1. Ventilation is an important factor in preventing the virus that causes COVID-19 from spreading;
      2. Recirculated air from split air conditioning units, fan coils or any system that runs with a recirculation mode should be avoided where possible, unless in a single occupancy room with no one else present;

      If recirculation is unavoidable, increase outdoor air exchange by opening windows, if possible and safe to do so, and minimize air blowing from one person directly at another. Floor or ceiling fans can provide ventilation when the people occupying the room are from the same household, but are not recommended when travelers from different households are together.

      • Hotels and other accommodations should have procedures for cleaning, disinfecting and ventilating the room properly between every guest’s stay;
      • These processes allow the accommodations to be used immediately afterward;

      If these procedures are followed, there is no need to leave the room empty between guests. If a guest develops symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, dry cough or tiredness, they should notify the facility manager and seek medical advice by contacting local health authorities.

      The guest should isolate from others, including fellow travellers. If the guest cannot be isolated or staff need to enter the room, the ill person should put on a medical mask, and people nearby should also wear a mask.

      If the medical mask cannot be tolerated by the ill person, then he or she should cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or use tissues to cover the mouth, and discard the tissue immediately into a closed waste bag.

      Are smokers more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19?

      Tobacco kills more than 8 million people globally every year. More than 7 million of these deaths are from direct tobacco use and around 1. 2 million are due to non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Tobacco smoking is a known risk factor for many respiratory infections and increases the severity of respiratory diseases.

      1. A review of studies by public health experts convened by WHO on 29 April 2020 found that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19, compared to non-smokers;
      2. COVID-19 is an infectious disease that primarily attacks the lungs;

      Smoking impairs lung function making it harder for the body to fight off coronaviruses and other diseases. Tobacco is also a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes which put people with these conditions at higher risk for developing severe illness when affected by COVID-19.

      Available research suggests that smokers are at higher risk of developing severe disease and death. WHO is constantly evaluating new research, including research that examines the link between tobacco use, nicotine use, and COVID-19.

      WHO urges researchers, scientists and the media to be cautious about amplifying unproven claims that tobacco or nicotine could reduce the risk of COVID-19. There is currently insufficient information to confirm any link between tobacco or nicotine in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

      Nicotine replacement therapies, such as gum and patches are designed to help smokers quit tobacco. WHO recommends that smokers take immediate steps to quit by using proven methods such as toll-free quit lines, mobile text-messaging programmes, and nicotine replacement therapies.

      Within 20 minutes of quitting, elevated heart rate and blood pressure drop. After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the bloodstream drops to normal. Within 2-12 weeks, circulation improves and lung function increases. After 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease.