Cloth face masks superior to visors

HSE urges people to use cloth coverings
  • Deborah Condon

The HSE is reminding people that cloth face coverings are superior to visors when it comes to preventing the transmission of COVID-19.

The use of face coverings is just one of a range of public health actions people are being asked to follow to reduce the spread of the virus.

While there is evidence that visors reduce the exposure to droplets to a certain extent compared with not using a face covering at all, experts have stated that cloth coverings are superior.

"Following a recent review of 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," commented Dr John Cuddihy, director of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

The HSE said that visors should only be used as an alternative to cloth coverings in certain limited circumstances, including:
-People with breathing difficulties
-People who are unable to remove face coverings without help
-People with particular needs who may feel upset or uncomfortable wearing coverings
-In settings where people who have learning or hearing difficulties are present.

The HSE added that in such limited scenarios, visors "should cover the entire face, above the eyes to below the chin and wrap around from ear to ear, and be correctly applied".

A summary of the evidence relating to the superiority of cloth face coverings to visors can be viewed here. More general information on the use of face coverings by the general public can be viewed here.


Discussions on this topic are now closed.