The Cypriot government announced that everyone over the age of 12 must wear a face covering.
Following the recommendation issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Cyprus decided to adopt it.
“Therefore, following the revision of the directive, the use of a protective mask by the general population is mandatory starting at the age of 12 and above, in indoor areas where there is a large gathering of people,” the ministry statement said.
For children aged between 6 and 12, the ministry still recommends the use of a mask on a voluntary basis in indoor areas where there are lots of people.
The WHO admits little is known about how children transmit the virus but cites evidence that teenagers can infect others in the same way as adults.
The advice published on the WHO website covers three age groups:
- Children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee a distance of at least one metre from others and there is widespread transmission in the area
- For children aged between six and 11, the WHO advises taking into account how widespread the transmission of the virus is and whether the child is interacting with high-risk individuals such as the elderly. It also stresses the need for adult supervision to help children use, put on and take off masks safely
- Children aged five and under should not, under normal circumstances, wear masks