Indonesian Minister: Tourists should wear masks

Indonesian Health Minister, Siti Fadilah Supari has stated that the country will ask all people arriving from swine-flu affected countries to wear face masks for at least three days after arrival.

“Visitors from infected countries should wear masks. It’s a precautionary measure we’re taking to avoid human-to-human transmission of the virus,” Supari told AFP. “We’ll give them the masks when they arrive at the airports and tell them to wear them for three days.”

So far 8 cases of the A(H1N1) Influenza virus have been confirmed, including three Australians and a Briton living in Australia.

“There’ll be no penalty if people don’t wear them. You can’t expect people to wear masks when they’re swimming,” Supari said, adding the masks would be handed out to visitors as soon as possible. Supari made the shock announcement after a ministerial meeting to discuss swine flu.

It remains to be seen whether the Indonesian Health Ministry can get people to put the masks on correctly.