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Croatia’s chief epidemiologist says masks will have to be worn indoors, at bus stops

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Krunoslav Capak (Photo: HINA/ PIXSELL/ POOL/ Goran Stanzl)

ZAGREB, Oct 6 (Hina) – Masks will have to be worn in all indoor spaces as well as outside where close contact cannot be avoided, such as tram and bus stops, Krunoslav Capak, head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health and a member of the national COVID response team, said on Tuesday.

“Wearing masks is certainly useful and will be introduced for indoor spaces, as well outside where close contact can’t be avoided in the form of a recommendation,” he told the press.

Representatives of the response team have talked with bar and restaurant owners about wearing masks in their establishments and they have no objections. This would not apply while drinking or eating, but while arriving or leaving, going to the toilet and to have a cigarette, Capak said.

He said new rules on wearing masks indoors were being discussed as part of preparations for the cold part of the year and other respiratory infections, adding that contacts with the Croatian Bishops’ Conference and bar and restaurant owners would continue.

Regarding possible fines, Capak said bar and restaurant owners were for stepping up inspections so that those owners who complied with the measures did not suffer.

He dismissed today’s media reports about a death threat he received. “I did receive a death threat but a month ago, when I reported it to the police who are investigating. I cannot comment on that.”

Regarding the upcoming skiing season, Capak said skiing in itself was not risky but that travel, staying in hotels, cafes and night clubs or riding in gondolas with 50 people was. “We epidemiologists do not recommend some things that are risky.”

Minister: Wearing masks says we are responsible

Speaking at the same press conference, Health Minister Vili Beros too underlined the importance of wearing masks in fighting coronavirus, saying that, depending on the epidemiological situation, wearing them would be recommended in other circumstances as well.

He said many additional measures were being considered and that they would be activated as required.

Keeping a physical distance is the most reliable way of stopping the spread of coronavirus, but there are circumstances when that isn’t possible, he said. “Then a mask is extremely important. A mask says that we are responsible, primarily towards others and less towards ourselves.”

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