DOH clarifies confusion of over face chields

The Department of Health (DOH) reminds active transport users, such as cyclists and electric kick scooter riders, that they are NOT required to wear face shields due to the potential safety risks when used while riding.

Cyclist? You’re not required to wear a face shield – DOH image

This announcement came after numerous reports reached DOH about cyclists and other active transport users being arrested or fined by local authorities for not wearing face shields.

According to section II(B)(6) of DOH Department Memorandum No. 2020-0534, which covers the use of face shields for COVID-19 mitigation, “individuals engaged in strenuous activities/work, fine workmanship, operation of transportation vehicles, and active transport” are exempted from wearing face shields.

In other words, if you’re engaged in active transport that requires wearing a helmet, such as cycling, roller skating, electric kick scooter, and even riding motorcycles, you are NOT required to wear face shields. The same goes for those who operate larger vehicles as wearing a face shield while driving can impair a driver’s vision, which could then result in an accident.

Cyclist? You’re not required to wear a face shield – DOH image

This is also stated in Section II(A)(5) of the DOH-DTI-DOLE-DILG-DOTr-DPWH-PSC-GAB Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2021-0001, which provides guidelines on the mandatory use of face shields outside of residences for COVID-19 mitigation. It states that, “due to the possible vision impairment face shields bring, bikers and users of other forms of active transport are exempted from the mandatory use of face shields outside of their residences.”

The DOH, however, clarified that all individuals must wear a face shield before and after alighting such forms of transportation and follow the minimum health and safety standards such as physical distancing, wearing of face masks, and other hygienic practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.