Filipinos are no longer required to wear face shields outdoors, President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Wednesday.
Duterte made the pronouncement, as he approved the recommendation of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to limit the use of face shields to the so-called “3Cs,” which refers to “closed and crowded” spaces, and activities that “promote close contact.”
“I was informed of the recommendation from the Technical Advisory Group and medical groups that the use of face shields, on top of face mask, may be limited to high-risk activities under the three Cs – closed, crowded pati (and) close contact,” Duterte said in his prerecorded Talk to the People.
Duterte also ordered that the implementation and guidelines on the latest policy on use of face shield be done “immediately.”
“Puwede na tanggalin sa labas (You no longer need to use that outside). No more face shields outside. Ang limitasyon, ang face shield gamitin mo [sa] three ‘Cs’ (The limitation is use face shield in three ‘Cs’),” he said. “Iyang tatlo na iyan, face shield is a must pa rin. Iyan ang recommendation (Face shield is still a must in three [‘Cs]. That’s the recommendation).”
On September 10, Duterte told the public that while wearing a face shield could not provide “complete” protection,” it could still control the transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Dec. 14, 2020 issued Resolution 88, mandating all persons to wear full-coverage face shields on top of face masks in all public spaces to reduce Covid-19 transmission.
However, Duterte in June this year ordered the public to wear face shields only in hospitals.
Duterte later decided to keep the IATF-EID’s policy on the mandatory use of face shields in public spaces, given the presence of the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant.
A recent study by the Lancet, a leading international medical journal, found that wearing a mask can decrease the risk of catching Covid-19 by 78 percent.
The result of the study also showed that the risk of transmission is cut by 85 percent if a face shield is worn in addition to the mask. (Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos/PNA)