Cyclists and other active transport users are not required to wear face shields due to its potential safety risks when used during active transport, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday, April 8.
The Health department made the statement following “increasing reports of cyclists and other active transport users being arrested for not wearing face shields.”
As an added protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the national government has required people to wear face shields on top of their face masks in public places.
Under section II(B)(6) of DOH Department Memorandum No. 2020-0534, it was stated that “individuals engaged in strenuous activities/work, fine workmanship, operation of transportation vehicles, and active transport” are exempted from wearing face shields.
Moreover, the DOH cited Section II(A)(5) of Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2021-0001 issued by various government agencies which provides classificatory guidelines on the mandatory use of face shields outside of residence for COVID-19 mitigation.
In the JMC, it was stated 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.”
JMC No. 2021-0001 was issued by the Departments of Transportation (DOTr), Labor and Employment (DOLE), Trade and Industry (DTI), Interior and Local Government (DILG), Public Works and Highways, DOH, Philippine Sports Commission, and Games and Amusement Board.
The Health department noted that face shields must still be worn before and after cycling or other similar activities, pursuant to DOH-DOTr-DILG-DPWH Joint Administrative Order No. 2020-0001.
Likewise, it reminded active transport users that the use of face masks, the observance of physical distancing, proper hygiene practices, and other health interventions must continue to be practiced while cycling or engaging in other forms of active transport.
“Rest assured that the DOH remains committed to working with national and local governments to ensure the safe and efficient use of active transport on our roads, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.