Pasig City announced on Saturday it would let cyclists bike in the city without face masks, saying biking “naturally isolates” bikers from other commuters.

“Bikers are exempted from wearing face shield while biking in Pasig,” the Pasig City Transport Development and Management Office said in a Facebook post.

“Evidence shows and consultation among bikers reveals that biking while wearing a face shield is dangerous,” it added, noting that wearing a face shield obstructs a cyclist’s view and makes breathing difficult.

Malacañang on Dec. 15 made mandatory the wearing of face shields nationwide to prevent a holiday surge in Covid-19 cases, nine months since the first community quarantine was imposed in the country.

The Department of Health on Saturday said exemptions would be made for those with medical issues and breathing problems.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said exemptions would be made for cyclists, but an official mandate had yet to be made.

“[Cycling] is a form of exercise kasi,” she said in a Laging Handa briefing. “And when you do your exercises, you require for oxygen. So noong nagpalabas po tayo ng guidelines noon sa mask, atin pong nabanggit ito, sinasabi natin na kung hindi talaga kaya ay hindi naman kailangang gawin; as long as you are alone, na mag-isa ka lang naman doon sa bisikleta and you are not in a crowded place.” John Ezekiel J. Hirro