As announced in our news item yesterday, we are now writing to inform you about the University of Twente’s position on the use of face masks. Our position is based on the national government’s recent and urgent recommendation to wear non-medical face masks in indoor areas. We have also taken into account the wishes and demands of the UT community. UT has been in close contact with the MBO and HBO institutes in the region as well as with Veiligheidsregio Twente.
The University of Twente urges wearing a non-medical face mask (which are being used in public transport as well) as of Monday, 5 October. This applies in all interior areas in all UT buildings, both on campus and elsewhere. Wearing a face mask is recommended when moving from one place to another within a building. You do not have to wear a face mask if you are seated at a desk, in a lecture hall or in a campus restaurant in the presence of others, as long as you observe 1.5 metres of social distancing.
- The recommendation to wear face masks is in addition to all other basic precautions; it does not replace the other measures. These include: maintaining proper social distancing, washing or disinfecting your hands regularly, coughing and sneezing into your elbow and staying at home if you have any symptoms.
- Wearing a non-medical face mask is not a substitute for situations that call for or require a certified medical face mask or face shield.
As we reported in yesterday’s update, the national government urgently recommends wearing face masks in indoor spaces, such as shops, museums, town halls, stations, airports, restaurants, bars and theatres, as well as locations where contact-based professions are carried out.
A face mask should cover your nose, mouth and chin. Single-use face masks are widely available, as are washable types that can be reused. We would like to stress that you should not use medical face masks in situations that do not require them. Medical face masks are for clinical use, and supplies for this purpose must be protected.
The video below from the World Health Organization explains how you should be using a mask in daily life.
At the University of Twente, we believe it is crucial to do everything we can to ensure everyone’s health and wellbeing. Wearing a face mask is a relatively simple way to do just that. Together, we can work to combat the spread of the virus. You wear a face mask not only for yourself, but also for the people around you.
Wearing face masks indoors is a new phenomenon in the Netherlands, and many people will need to adjust to the new situation. It is good to speak up if you feel uncomfortable, and it is important to take others’ feelings into account. We will only win the battle against COVID-19 by working together.