One of Switzerland’s top doctors has told restaurants in the country not to rely on plastic visors to protect from the spread of coronavirus, as she said they create a ‘false sense of security’.
The warning issued by the Canton of Grisons, which borders Italy and Austria and includes both St. Moritz and Davos, raises questions for restaurants who had plastic visors as part of their reopening plans.
Switzerland does not legally require hospitality staff to wear face coverings, but most have adopted them as a precaution. In nearby Germany, some regions require waiting staff to wear plastic visors, while others require surgical masks.
Dr. Marina Jamnicki, said face masks for restaurant staff who cannot keep 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) distance from others were a better solution than transparent plastic shields secured by a headband.
"An analysis of the cases and the path in which the disease spread shows plastic visors being used in gastronomy don't offer sufficient protection," her office said. "People who wore visors got infected."
Marc Tischhauser, director of the Grisons restaurant industry association, told Reuters the doctor's warning was a reminder that visors play a "complementary role" in protecting against Covid-19 infections, and that proper social distancing and face masks are also necessary to be effective.
The World Health Organisation has urged people to use face coverings, especially in enclosed places, however the issue remains contentious with many in the United States claiming that imposed mask-wearing is an infringement on civil rights.