NEWS

Health Ministry Clarifies Face Mask Exemptions

The ministry has advised wearing of masks in situations where physical distancing could not be maintained.
16 Feb 2022 12:02
Health Ministry Clarifies Face Mask Exemptions
Students wearing mask while in class. Photo: Ronald Kumar

There are now exemptions for wearing a face mask.

These guidelines were released by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services yesterday.

They stated that wearing a face mask that covers the nose and mouth, was mandatory in all public places, for everyone aged 8 and over, unless an exemption applies.

The ministry has advised wearing of masks in situations where physical distancing could not be maintained.

The ministry has also advised that if a person is stopped by an enforcement officer (Member of the Fiji Police Force, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Fijian Competition & Consumer Commission, Land Transport Authority or Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji) in a setting where face masks are mandatory, the person would be asked to confirm the lawful reason of why they are not wearing a face mask.

A letter from a doctor confirming the medical condition would also be required if a person has a medical condition that makes wearing a mask unsuitable.

 

A person in the following groups or situations is exempted from wearing a mask:

  • Children under eight years of age
  • Students in primary school in Year 2 and below.
  • Person who has a medical condition or disability, which makes wearing a face covering unsuitable, including persons with obstructed breathing (e.g. in chronic respiratory medical conditions), relevant skin conditions (allergies), an intellectual disability, or mentally disordered condition.
  • Persons communicating with those who are deaf or hard of hearing and visibility of the mouth is essential for communication.
  • Persons engaged in work or education that means that wearing a face mask creates a risk to health and safety.
  • Person engaged in work or education means that clear enunciation or visibility of their mouth is essential. This includes teaching, lecturing, broadcasting, and public speaking.
  • The person is working by themselves in an enclosed indoor space such as in an empty classroom or office unless or until another person enters that space.
  • The person is outdoors and there is no other person within 2 metres.
  • The person is one of two persons being married, during their wedding ceremony or while being married photographed at the wedding.
  • The person is a professional sportsperson engaged in training or competing.
  • While engaged in any strenuous outdoor physical activity and exercise.
  • When consuming medicine, food or drink.
  • The person is undergoing dental or medical care or treatment to the extent that such care or treatment requires no face mask be worn.
  • The person is escaping harm or the risk of harm, including harm relating to family violence or violence of another person.
  • When asked to remove the face mask to ascertain identity. For instance, when asked by police to remove a face mask to ascertain identity.
  • In emergency situations.

 



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