Newly-updated advice from the World Health Organisation says people should be encouraged to wear homemade fabric masks in public where social distancing is not possible.
The WHO previously stressed there was no evidence that wearing a mask – whether medical or other types – by healthy people in the wider community could prevent them from infection with respiratory viruses, including Covid-19.
However it said "evolving" new science now pointed to the use of medical-grade masks in hospital settings – even for those not treating coronavirus patients – as well as similar protection worn by people aged 60 or over, or with underlying health conditions, when outside of their home where social distancing was not possible.
In Wales leading doctors are calling on Welsh Government to change their position on face coverings, saying that they should be worn in areas where people cannot socially distance.
Speaking at the Welsh Government's daily press conference on Friday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said a decision in Wales would be made next week on whether to change its guidance.
English health secretary Matt Hancock announced all hospital visitors and outpatients will be required to wear face coverings and all hospital staff will be required to wear surgical masks in England from June 15.
The UK Government previously said face coverings would be mandatory on public transport – but, again, only from June 15.
Today people are being urged not to attend large gatherings to protest at the death of George Floyd this weekend.
Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes. During the incident Mr Floyd could be heard saying: "I can't breathe".
America has seen several days of protests since his death and there are due to be a number of similar events in Wales. But the Government is urging people not to attend mass protests.
In other news Sunday trading laws could be suspended for a year under UK Government plans to stimulate the economy amid the coronavirus crisis.
Downing Street is said to be drawing up legislation to enable larger supermarkets to open for more than six hours on Sundays, according to The Times.
The deaths of four more people with coronavirus were reported in Wales on Friday taking the daily total published by Public Health Wales to 1,383.
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