The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry for Health has issued a document outlining the standards on the use of face masks or face visors in the community, aimed at decreasing the transmission of COVID-19.
The document clearly states that Any person shall, outside his residence, both when going to an indoor place and outdoors, wear a medical or cloth mask or visor in a proper manner covering the nose, mouth and chin of the person, adding that, the mandatory use of medical or cloth masks or visors shall not apply to private homes or private vehicles.
Children up to three years of age and persons with severe cognitive, physical, mental or respiratory impairments who have difficulty tolerating a mask, as certified by a licensed medical practitioner are exempted, with the latter needing to have their relevant medical certificate always in their possession.
Masks can be temporarily removed in the case of children attending kindergarten (while in the classroom), during high intensity physical activity, when speaking or providing assistance to any individual who relies on lip reading to communicate, during official public speaking, if requested for ID purposes, to receive medical or cosmetic treatment, to take medication, and when seated at establishments where food and drink is served.
Any person who fails to abide by the provisions outlined in this document shall be guilty of an offence, and be liable to the payment of a €100 payment for each and every instance in which there is a breach in regulations. If the offence is admitted and the penalty is paid before proceedings are commenced, the penalty shall be reduced to €50.
The document also outlines the types of masks which are accepted (surgical, respirators and non-medical face masks) and it also gives detailed information about the appropriate use of masks. Masks which include a one-way valve on the front that makes it easier to breathe are not recommended.
Apart from all this, the document offers guidelines on how often cloth masks must be changed or washed, and how they are to be safely cleaned and sterilised, as well as information as to how a used cloth mask is removed.
On the use of Visors or Face shields, the document states that since due to their design, they may allow respiratory droplets to exit or enter through the open gaps between the visor and the face, and since there isn’t evidence that face shields are as effective as source control or protection from respiratory droplets as masks, it is being recommended that masks should be used in preference to visors, or in conjunction with them, while the use of visors alone is discouraged.
You Can access and read the full document by clicking here