ZAGREB, 14 July 2020 – After a spike in the number of coronavirus cases over the last week, the wearing of protective masks became mandatory in certain situations in Croatia on Monday.
The wearing of masks is mandatory for employees of health care institutions and persons visiting patients, if visits are allowed, drivers, other employees in public transport vehicles and public transport passengers, trade employees and customers during their stay in stores, employees in the hospitality business who are in contact with guests or participate in serving and preparing meals and beverages, and other persons bound to do so by special instructions and recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.
Today, the Croatian Institute of Public Health published a list of those people who are exempt from wearing masks.
“Due to their health condition and developmental characteristics, some people cannot wear a mask or can wear a mask only with certain restrictions. These are most often situations in which wearing the mask can lead to difficulty breathing, the danger of suffocation, or to the fact that the mask is worn incorrectly, which can increase the chances of infection. In these conditions, it is necessary to allow the person not to wear a mask,” the Croatian Institute of Public Health states.
The following are exempt from wearing a mask:
- Children under 2 years of age
- Preschool children after the age of two if the child, despite the efforts of the parent/guardian to wear the mask, resists wearing the mask or cannot refrain from touching the mask and face (some children are bothered by the mask and feel the inevitable need to adjust the mask and touch the face, increasing the chances of getting the virus through the mouth, nose or eyes)
- Children over the age of two up to the lower grades of primary school can wear a mask only in activities that are limited in time (activities lasting a maximum of one or two hours) and when they are under the constant supervision of parents/guardians (for example when on public transport, in a health care facility or when going to the store, although parents are advised to take their children to the store only if absolutely necessary)
- People with certain forms of disability such as certain mental health impairments including autism spectrum disorders if people resist or do not tolerate a face mask, people with intellectual disabilities, people with severe physical / motor impairments due to possible breathing difficulties or inability to remove the mask without the help of another person
- People who need to transmit information to a hearing-impaired person, including interpreters for the deaf and blind and other accompanying persons, in a situation where the message cannot be written or transmitted to a hearing-impaired person in sign language, but only by reading from the face and lips
- The hearing impaired in situations where the mask prevents effective communication and adequate understanding of the transmitted message
- Persons with difficulty breathing due to chronic diseases (these situations should not be confused with a respiratory infection with fever or other signs that may be characteristic of COVID-19 disease when wearing a mask is mandatory)
- Persons with altered consciousness or loss of consciousness
- All persons who for other reasons cannot remove the mask without the help of another person.