He continued: "In light of evolving evidence, the World Health Organization advises that governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where there is widespread transmission and physical distancing is hard, such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments".
The UK government has also said all staff in hospitals in England will be expected to wear surgical masks from 15 June, and all visitors and outpatients will have to wear face coverings at all times in hospital.
The World Health Organisation has released the newest information regarding the use of face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic.
WHO previously had recommended that only health care workers, people with Covid-19 and their caregivers wear medical masks, noting a global shortage of supplies.
- But it says a growing amount of observational evidence from several countries that have ordered or recommended the wearing of masks, as well as the difficulty of social distancing in many settings, is enough for it to change its advice.
The WHO director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the body's position that masks alone would not protect people remained the same.
President Donald Trump has also publicly expressed his distaste for wearing masks in front of journalists.
Urging those taking part to socially distance, frequently wash their hands and avoid touching their mouth, nose and eyes.
The Director-General's briefing came as the world's COVID-19 infections went beyond 6.6 million and deaths surpassed 392,000, according to the USA -based Johns Hopkins University.
However, he said a growing amount of observational evidence from several countries who are recommending the use of face masks, plus the difficulty of social distancing in many settings, is enough for World Health Organization to change its advice.
NY already has a mandate for everyone to wear a face mask if they can't stay at least 6 feet apart. Masks are only of benefit as part of a comprehensive approach in the fight against COVID-19.
Although face masks can help to curb the spread of COVID-19 transmission, they urge everyone to know how to use a mask safely.
"Governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where there is widespread transmission and physical distancing is hard, such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded environments", the director-general said.