DOH considers exempting solo-riding cyclists in mandatory face shield policy


Posted at Dec 19 2020 01:36 PM

A cyclist takes the bike lane in EDSA, September 23, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Department of Health is considering recommending that solo-riding cyclists be exempt from wearing face shields on top of masks in public places as COVID-19 restrictions continue.

This, as the public and some experts raised concerns about requiring certain people such as cyclists to wear full-face shields while engaged in physical activity.

"When you do exercises you require oxygen so nung nagpalabas atin itong nabanggit sa face masks kung hindi naman kaya as long as you are alone at mag-isa ka sa bisikleta and you are not in the crowded area," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

(When we were discussing this for face masks, we said that if cyclists are uncomfortable, as long as they are alone in the bicycle and not in a crowded area they can do without it.)

"So itong nagfa-face shield when you do your biking ating pag-uusapan. Pero nakikita natin na we can consider this as long as alone sila at nagbibisikleta at 'pag tumigil na sila at pumunta sa matataong lugar kailangan na nilang magsuot," she added.

(Now, when we talk about face shields when you are biking, we can discuss that. But we see that we can consider this as long as they are alone biking and then wearing the face shield as soon as they stop and arrive at crowded places.)

The DOH is set to release a joint administrative order with other agencies on guidelines for the use of face shields.

In a separate interview from the same briefing, National Task Force for COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez said they will be discussing the contents of the order on Monday.

Vergeire said they would also be considerate of sick people who are having a hard time to breathe, and motorists driving alone.

"Ang sinasabi natin mag-face shield kayo especially when you are interacting with other people and when you are going in places that are crowded," Vergeire said.

(We are just asking you to wear your face shields especially when you are interacting with other people and when you are going to places that are crowded.)