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New rules on wearing masks in airports

On March 9th, 2022 the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) issued the Technical Note No. 38/2022, which clarifies the use of face masks in airports and aircrafts.

According to the document, the use of masks in public areas of airports (places without access control) must follow local decrees. In this way, the use of masks in public areas (lobby, check-in, commercial establishments in the public area, food court and parking lots) of the airports is not obligatory.

However, the Technical Note reinforces the obligatory use of face masks on the “Airside” of the airports, stipulated in RDC (Collegiate Board Resolution) nº 456/2020. The Airside comprises all controlled access environments at an aerodrome: aircraft movement areas, employee and/or vehicle access control gates, X-rays, departure and arrival halls, establishments in the restricted area, apron and transportation vehicles.

In addition, the following types of mask remais banned: acrylic or plastic masks; masks with exhalation valves, including N95 and PFF2; scarves, bandannas, or any other material that does not constitute a protection mask for professional or non-professional use; face shields without a mask underneath; masks with only one single layer of cloth that do not meet the minimum requirements set forth in ABNT PR 1002 – Guide of basic requirements for testing, manufacturing, and wearing masks.

The RDC also establishes that the mask must fit snugly against the face, covering the nose and mouth and keeping the gaps through which air and particles may pass at a minimum. It is important to highlight that wearing a mask is not mandatory for passengers and users with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disabilities, sensory disabilities, or any other disability that may prevent them from wearing a mask properly, as certified by a medical certificate, as well children under three years of age.