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Duterte Approves Lifting of Mandatory Use of Face Shields in Areas Under Alert Level 1 to 3

Those in areas under Alert Level 5 and granular lockdowns are still required to wear face shields.

During his pre-recorded ‘Talk to the People’ on November 15, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he has approved the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID)’s recommendation to lift the mandatory use of face shields.

“Ang decision ko is okay, tanggalin nyo na yung [face] shields. Pwede na ninyong…you dispense with the shields but not the [face] mask,” he said. The president added that the mandatory use of face masks will remain in place “kasi matagal pa itong virus na nasa hangin lang.” (Read: How Effective Are Face Shields in Protecting Us From COVID-19?)

“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,” Duterte said.

Following Alert Level systems

A lady security guard reminds mallgoers to observe safe physical distancing before entering the Christmas centerpiece (in background) at a mall in Fairview, Quezon City on Friday (Nov. 12, 2021). Metro Manila is under Alert Level 2 from November 5 to 21, which means there are no age restrictions for people leaving their homes. (Photo from Ben Briones/PNA)

According to the memorandum, all those in provinces and cities under Alert Levels 1 to 3 are no longer required to wear face shields. Those in areas on Alert Level 5 and those in granular lockdowns, are still mandated to wear the shields.

Meanwhile, those in areas under Alert Level 4, private establishments and local government units have the discretion to mandate wearing of face shields or not.

“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 memorandum explained. (Read: City of Manila Lifts Mandatory Use Of Face Shields, Other NCR Mayors Agree)

In 2020, the IATF issued an order requiring everyone to wear face shields whether indoors or outdoors. In June this year, Duterte announced that face shields will only be required in medical facilities, but reverted to the original IATF policy after the more infectious Delta variant spread in the country.

Lastly, in September, the president said that face shields are only limited to the “3Cs”–“closed and crowded spaces, and close contact.”

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