Why isn’t Belgium following Spain in making masks mandatory for primary school pupils?

Speaking at Friday morning’s National Crisis Centre press conference, the virologist Professor Steven Van Gucht explained why in Belgian schools face masks will only be mandatory for children over the age of 12. On Thursday the authorities in Spain decided to make the wearing of face masks in schools mandatory for children over the age of 6. 

Professor Van Gucht explained that there are two main reasons why this is not the case here. “First of all little children are not able to use the masks correctly. If you use one of these masks incorrectly you in fact increase rather than reduce the risks”. 

"Secondly we know that young children are probably less infectious. It is still possible that they might infect someone else, but the virus is passed on less easily”. 

This is different among children over the age of 12. "We can teach them how to wear masks properly and moreover among them the virus behaves more like how it does among adults”, Professor Van Gucht said. 


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