Health officials recommend wearing a face mask in public. SKNIS Photo.

The government of St. Kitts and Nevis is advising all residents who will be out in public to consider wearing a face mask to limit the spread of COVID-19, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Hazel Laws shared Thursday during the daily media briefing from the National Emergency Operations Centre.

“The rationale for this recommendation is that the virus can remain suspended in air particles for as long as three hours, and it is based on this bit of evidence that we are making this recommendation,” she stated.

The CMO said that this particular advisory is not mandatory, as some persons may not be comfortable wearing a face mask.

Those who wish to wear a mask, but do not own one, can purchase the product from Best Buy Supermarket or Sun Island Clothes during the easing of the 24-hour lockdown restrictions that have been in place since March 31.

Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris announced earlier today that one person per household would be permitted to move around to access banks, supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies and other businesses to re-stock supplies on Friday, April 3, and Saturday, April 4, during the hours of 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Prime Minister Harris strongly urged persons to shop in their communities as much as possible.

Experts suggest that wearing a mask could help to limit droplets from infected persons that can lead to further transmission of the Novel Coronavirus. Designs for homemade masks are also available on credible news and health websites.

The use of a mask, however, does not override the need for social distancing. Persons are strongly encouraged to remain at least six feet apart from others when in public. Frequently and thoroughly washing hands and boosting the immune system are also essential measures that will help to mitigate against contracting the virus.