Palace: Face shields no longer required outdoors
UPDATE: Duterte keeps mandatory use of face shields indoors, outdoors
MANILA, Philippines — People are no longer required to wear face shields outdoors, Malacañang said Monday following confusing announcements about the policy last week.
“To those asking: ‘Are face shields still needed?’ What is clear is this: Face shields are no longer required outdoors because that wasn’t appealed by the IATF,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in Filipino during a briefing.
“The IATF only appealed about the wearing of face shields indoors, including in malls, commercial establishments, and public transportation,” he added.
Roque also said President Rodrigo Duterte will discuss rules on face shields during his meeting with pandemic task force officials this evening.
Last week, the presidential spokesperson said Duterte had agreed that face shields should only be required in hospitals. But the IATF, chaired by the Department of Health, proposed to the chief executive to retain the use of face shields in enclosed spaces.
The DOH also said last week that individuals are not required to face shields outdoors and that this has been the government’s “standing policy”, a statement unsupported by actual implementation, where people have been accosted and fined for not wearing the plastic shields.
In December 2020, the government began requiring individuals to wear face shields on top of face masks whenever they leave their homes.
Roque as well as Health Secretary Francisco Duque III previously defended the policy requiring face shields when out in public. They insisted the policy was based on science, with Roque saying wearing a face shield on top of a face mask was almost as good as being vaccinated against COVID-19.