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Exemption made for face shield usage instead of masks in certain situations

Exemption made for face shield usage instead of masks in certain situations

As the Virgin Islands and the rest of the world continues to adapt in the COVID-19 era, it is clear there is ‘no one size fits all’ measure.

This includes wearing of masks.

According to the Public Health (Covid-19 Control and Suppression Measures) (No. 4) Order, 2020, published in the Official Gazette on August 1, 2020, every person shall wear a face mask, at all times when in a public place, including at any establishment, gatherings and on public transportation.

This; however, does not apply where a person is in open air settings and maintains a physical distance of no less than six feet from any other person who may be nearby; driving alone, or is with members of his or her household; obtaining services at a healthcare facility, including hospitals, medical or dental clinics, pharmacies, elderly facilities, facilities providing veterinary care or similar services for animals, and is directed by an employee at the healthcare facility to remove his or her face mask.

A face mask, according to the Order, is also not required when consuming food or drinks; in an assigned office, which consists of an enclosed room and is not shared by other persons; at an assigned office space and physical distancing protocols are being adhered to; or required to remove the mask in order to ascertain his or her identity or for security purposes.

Face Shield


The Order also stated that a face shield may be worn instead of a face mask by a child twelve years and under, who may have difficulty wearing a face mask for a prolonged period; a person who has a health condition which may cause breathing or medical difficulties if the person wears a face mask for a prolonged period; a person who has intellectual and developmental disabilities; a person who cares for those who rely on lip reading to communicate; or a person who is speaking to a group in a classroom or lecture-style setting.

Meanwhile, every establishment including offices, businesses and organisations shall ensure that all staff and customers wear a face mask or face shield, as the case may be, when inside, or in line, to access goods or services at the establishment.

Additionally, every establishment shall ensure that all staff wear a face mask when physical distancing protocols cannot in a particular circumstance be adhered to; providing good or services in an enclosed location; performing work off-site, such as delivery services; or working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others.

The Public Health (Covid-19 Control and Suppression Measures) (No. 4) Order, 2020, signed by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Honourable Carvin Malone (AL) shall cease to apply on October 31, 2020 unless extended by the Minister.

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