The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is calling on all travellers to wear protective face masks to show they ‘wear to care’ in the new normal of travelling.
As countries transition from lockdowns to reopening their borders, the wearing of face masks helps signal the return of safer travels, while also providing personal protection for users as well as those around them.
The advice from WTTC in favour of mandatory mask wearing comes from evidence that countries which are recovering faster and avoid second COVID-19 spikes are those where the use of face masks have been widely enforced and encouraged.
Following medical guidance from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, WTTC advises the wearing of masks on all forms of transport throughout the entire traveller journey, as well as when visiting any interior venue or those with restricted movement which results in close personal contact of two metres or less.
WTTC has asked governments around the globe to enforce the wearing of face masks, as well as enlisting the support of the private sector to remind customers of their obligations to protect their health and that of fellow travellers.
Travellers around the world are being encouraged to join in the WTTC social media campaign which is launching with the hashtag #wear2care.
Embracing the use of face masks will reduce the risk of transmission, protect the user and those around them, as well as reintroducing a sense of normality. as we learn to live with the virus until a vaccine is found.
The new recommendations follow in the wake of WTTC recently issuing its new guidelines for Safe & Seamless Travel including testing and tracing to ensure people can enjoy Safe Travels in the ‘new normal.’
Frequent handwashing and using hand sanitizer complement the use of face masks which can significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC president & CEO, said: “The safety and hygiene of travellers and those who work in Travel & Tourism is of paramount importance, which is why we now strongly recommend masks being mandatory.”
Guevara continued: “Wear to care promotes the protection of face mask users and visibly shows they care about the welfare and safety of their fellow travellers, which will help save lives and encourage the return of Safe Travels.”
And she added: “The wearing of masks should not be politicized. Wearing a mask needs to become part of everyday life to ensure everyone enjoys travelling in safety until a vaccine for COVID-19 is found. We implore the private sector and global governments to encourage their use so wearing a mask becomes the new normal.”
Travellers around the world can get involved with the WTTC campaign by sharing pictures of the themselves proudly travelling with their masks and sharing the hashtag #wear2care.