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Plan To Lift Mask Rule on 14 June

The Health Minister says the plan is, as things stand, to lift the rule on having to wear masks in public spaces from 14 June.

That is when the island reaches the final stage of the road to recovery from the pandemic.

If it will no longer be mandatory to wear masks from that date, Deputy Richard Renouf says it's still likely to be recommended.

Masks have had to be worn in the likes of shops and supermarkets since the start of December as one measure to try and stop the spread of Covid-19.

However many islanders have questioned why it's still necessary given the island's current position regarding the virus.

Deputy Renouf says there is still a risk within the island, despite no community cases being found in 52 days.

"It is possible for people to be asymptomatic and still transmit and then of course we have the borders.

"Connectivity with areas outside of the island is important, but there is a risk at the borders that infection may come into the island, not withstanding all the controls we have."

The Minister says the most recent advice from STAC is to keep wearing masks mandatory until at least the next stage of the roadmap to recovery.

They no longer have to be worn by school staff or students in classrooms, but they do have to be on in communal areas.

Following a question by Channel 103 on this subject in last week's media briefing, Economic Development Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham said he was hopeful that masks could be binned in the 'not too distant future'.

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