‘No more face shields outside’ – Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — Wearing face shields outdoors is no longer required except in closed and crowded places, President Rodrigo Duterte announced in a taped briefing aired late Wednesday night, September 22, 2021.
Duterte said he had approved the recommendation of the technical advisory group (TAG) of the Department of Health and medical experts to no longer require face shields outdoors except in places classified in what he called “3Cs” — closed, crowded, close contact.
“I was informed that this TAG and medical experts on the use of face shields could be done away with outdoors. No more face shields outdoors. The only limitation on [the use of] face shield is to use them in 3Cs,” he said, speaking partly in Filipino.
“I ordered that — if that’s the case — then I will order that we accept the recommendation. Just remember that it’s prohibited [not to wear face shields] in 3Cs. Closed, crowded, and close contact,” he added.
Duterte said he had ordered that implementing guidelines be issued immediately.
The government first required people to use face shields in public places at all times in December last year.
However, there have been debates on the usefulness of face shield, with some calling for lifting of the policy since it would be an additional cost for Filipinos.
Earlier this year, Duterte appeared to be ready to ease the policy, agreeing to do away with face shields outdoors and only require it in hospitals. But he retracted it, on the recommendation of health experts to retain the mandatory policy.
Duterte said he opted to retain the policy in the belief that the protection it offers against COVID-19 transmission, albeit minimal, more than compensates for the inconvenience it brings to Filipinos.
However, he changed his mind when experts said face shields would no longer be needed to be worn outside.
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