MOH Says Face Shields Cannot Replace Face Masks, Masks Still Compulsory Outdoors

Face masks, whether surgical or reusable, will continue to be compulsory if going outdoors from 2 Jun onwards, the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on 1 Jun.

Speaking at a press conference, MOH clarified that only a select group of people – and no, they’re not “sovereigns” – will be allowed to wear face shields in lieu of a mask.

MOH emphasised that face shields cannot replace face masks, and that they’ll treat the wearing of face shields without a valid reason the same as one who’s not wearing a mask.

Yes, that means a fine or further punishments.

Face shields only allowed for specific situations, kids under 12

While face masks are still mandatory, there are some people who’ll be allowed to use a face shield instead.

Source

The full list of people allowed to use a face shield in lieu of a mask are as follows:

  • Children aged 12 and below
  • Those with health/medical difficulties when wearing masks for long periods
  • Those speaking to a group in a classroom or lecture setting, where they largely remain in the same spot at a safe distance from others

Meanwhile, people working on television broadcasts are exempt from wearing facial protection while they work, and this won’t change after 2 Jun.

MOH recognises that there are existing safety exemptions on masks for children below 2 years old, and this will also continue.

Face shields don’t protect fully against droplets

Explaining their rationale for mandating masks, MOH said that shields don’t protect fully against droplets due to a gap between the shield and face.

On the other hand, masks when worn properly have no such gap over the mouse and nose.

Source

This arguably makes face masks most suitable for preventing the spread of Covid-19.

Masks required due to increased contact

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said during the press conference that as Singapore reopens the country, MOH expects more contact among people.

Due to this, face masks will remain a must, especially on public transport.

However, they understand that some may have breathing difficulties if they wear masks for a long time.

Face shields can be worn on top of a mask for additional protection, for example, to protect the eyes. They can also help prevent people from touching their faces.

Remain indoors unless necessary even after CB period ends

Ending the ‘Circuit Breaker’ won’t be license to jalan jalan without a valid reason.

MOH advises people to continue to remain indoors unless necessary. This will reduce the risk of infection in general, MOH’s medical services director Dr Kenneth Mak said.

If you experience breathing difficulties wearing a mask, there’ll be some flexibility from authorities, so you won’t have to worry. However, this cannot be used as an excuse to go around without wearing one at all outdoors.

Featured image adapted from Facebook.