MANILA – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to lift the mandatory use of face shields in areas under Alert Level 1 to 3.
“Ang decision ko is okay, tanggalin nyo na yung [face] shields. Pwede na ninyong (My decision is okay, you can remove face shields. You can), you dispense with the shields but not the (face) mask,” Duterte said in his prerecorded “Talk to the People”.
Duterte said face mask would remain part of the day-to-day safety measure “kasi matagal pa itong virus na nasa hangin lang (because the virus which is airborne will be here for a long time).”
He urged the public to make sure that the Covid-19 positivity rate in the country will continue to go down by following the health and safety protocols.
“You have to obey what the government will tell you to do because it’s for the good of the country and for you. Sumunod lang kayo (Just obey),” he said.
On Monday, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued a memorandum detailing the voluntary use of face shields in places with a relatively low Covid-19 alert level.
According to the memorandum, the use of face shields in community settings shall remain mandatory in areas under Alert Level 5 and granular lockdowns.
For places under Alert Level 4, local government units and private establishments are given the discretion to maintain or remove the wearing of face shields policy.
People residing in places under alert levels 3, 2, and 1 can voluntarily use the face shields as their added protection.
"The above protocols are without prejudice to the continuing mandatory use of face shields in medical and quarantine facility settings, and the required use thereof by healthcare workers in healthcare settings," the order read.
The IATF-EID on Dec. 14, 2020 issued Resolution 88, requiring all persons to wear full-coverage face shields on top of face masks in all public places to control the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In June this year, Duterte ordered the public to wear face shields only in hospitals but immediately decided to keep the IATF-EID’s original policy following the presence of the more infectious Delta Covid-19 variant.
He later announced in September this year that the use of face shields will be limited to the so-called “3Cs,” which refers to “closed and crowded spaces, and close contact.” (PNA)