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Establishments may still require customers and employees to wear a face shield—Malacañang

By Gaile Gregorio Published Nov 19, 2021 3:31 pm

Private enterprises and companies could still require the wearing of face shields within their premises according to Malacanang.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on Nov. 15 stated that the wearing of face shields under Alert Levels 1, 2, and 3 is now optional.

But cabinet secretary and acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said today, Nov. 19, that the IATF resolution still gives room for face shields to be required in some areas subject to the discretion of an establishment.

“As we announced last Tuesday, the use of face shields is now voluntary in areas under Alert Levels 1, 2 3. However, in IATF Resolution No. 149, we clarified that the voluntary use of face shields for areas under Alert Levels 1 to 3 is “without prejudice to employers still requiring their use for their employers or workers and/or customers in their respective premises,” Nograles said in a televised press briefing. 

"Kaya puwede pong i-require ng employers ang mga empleyado nila mag-face shield sa kanilang workplaces at puwede rin pong i-require ng private establishments ang mga customers nila na mag-face shield, he said. 

It was on Dec. 14, 2020 when the IATF first mandated the use of face shields on top of face masks whenever individuals go out of their residence, in an effort to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The Philippines is reportedly the only country in the world that mandated the use of face shields during the pandemic.

In September 2021, President Duterte first announced lifting the mandatory use of face shields, except in closed facilities like hospitals, crowded areas or rooms, and where there is close contact with other people.

On June 21, President Duterte initially announced that use of face shields is no longer mandatory. But only a few hours later, Malacañang announced that face shields are still required both indoors and outdoors. This was following the advice of health experts and in view of the highly transmissible Delta variant detection in the country.