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Bikers not required to use face shields, DOH reiterates amid arrests

Health authorities on Thursday reiterated that bikers and other active commuters are not required to wear face shields amid “increasing reports” of arrests.

The Department of Health said several memos have made clear that people engaged in “strenuous activities/work, fine workmanship, operation of transportation vehicles, and active transport are exempted from wearing face shields” since these could cause “possible vision impairment.”

“With increasing reports of cyclists and other active transport users being arrested for not wearing face shields, the DOH reiterates that active transport users are NOT required to use face shields,” it said in a statement.

The DOH also stressed that a joint administrative order requires the use of face shields before and after cycling and other similar activities.

Active commuters were also reminded to continue observing other health protocols such as physical distancing even when engaged in strenuous activities.

The use of face shields amid the coronavirus pandemic became controversial late last year when the government made it mandatory

Some local governments in Metro Manila immediately exempted cyclists from the requirement

Factory and construction workers also appealed for exemption but the DOH said the decision was up to the government’s inter-agency COVID-19 task force.  — Julia Mari Ornedo/RSJ, GMA News