An internet photo of a child wearing a face mask.

Wearing a mask all day is “much of a discomfort” and this is why it is a recommendation rather than requirement when school reopens on Aug. 31, amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union (SVGTU) Oswald Robinson, told a press conference in Kingstown on Tuesday that teachers and students are required to wear face masks during their commute to school

“Parents, you’re visiting an educational institution, you are required to put on a face mask,” he said.

He said his union knows that there have been issues and teachers and students have expressed concerns about the wearing of face coverings.

Robinson noted that there are people who have respiratory issues such as asthma, for whom wearing masks is a challenge.

The trade unionist said that even in the absence to those health conditions, wearing a mask with one’s glasses results in discomfort.

“It’s going to make the lens foggy. So how are you going to read to mark the students’ book and to do your work? Those are concerns. And that is why the word ‘highly recommended’ is used and not ‘mandatory’, especially during instructional time.

“It is strange to see everybody in the classroom, every teacher have a mask on your face whole day. That’s much of a discomfort,” Robinson told the media.

“So, we are saying to our teachers, if there are any signs of cases [of COVDI-19] that you put on your face mask, but it is required that you wear it to work.