Visors not advised
Expert opinion and international guidance shows that cloth face coverings or masks are more effective than visors, according to the HSE.
Dr John Cuddihy, Director Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC), said health authorities are grateful to all members of the public who are helping to suppress COVID-19 in our communities by taking daily protective actions.
But she urged people to make sure they are wearing the right protection.
"These include wearing face coverings, which help to stop the spread of the virus. Following a recent review of the evidence, we know that visors are less effective than cloth face coverings, and yet we are all seeing visors being used day to day. So our message is – please wear a face covering, and please don’t see a visor as ‘just as good’. It’s not just as good, and really only suitable for specific circumstances," she said.
The HSE said face coverings are one part of a range of public health actions needed, including limiting contacts, keeping physical distance, cleaning hands and covering coughs and sneezes. It said all the measures work together to protect people.
The HSE says cloth face coverings should be of multiple layers of suitable fabric and correctly applied.
Further information on the handling and care of cloth face coverings can be found here.
The HSE adds that there is evidence that visors reduce exposure to droplets to a certain extent compared with no face covering. They may be an alternative in certain limited circumstances including:
- People with breathing difficulties
- People who are unable to remove masks/face coverings without help
- Anyone with particular needs who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing the mask/face covering
- In settings where people who have learning difficulties or hard of hearing or deaf are present
- In the limited scenarios above where visors may be used, they should cover the entire face (above the eyes to below the chin and wrap around from ear to ear) and be correctly applied.