Palace: Pandemic task force to issue new guidelines on face shields
MANILA, Philippines — The government's pandemic task force is expected to issue guidelines on the use of face shields, Malacañang said Thursday, after President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the requirement to wear the facial cover outdoors.
During a pre-recorded address on Wednedsay, Duterte said the public need not wear face shields outdoors but should continue to do so in closed, crowded, and close contact areas and activities including indoor establishments and transportation and gatherings.
The president said his decision was based on a recommendation made by medical experts. The wearing of face masks, however, will still be mandatory.
"We expect the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) to amend the guidelines to be affected by the directive of the president," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.
Roque said the use of face shields was made mandatory last June upon the recommendation of experts who warned of the looming threat of the more transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant.
"It (decision to lift the face shield requirement) was also in line with the advice of our experts. Perhaps there are factors considered by experts including the almost 70% vaccination rate here in Metro Manila," the Palace spokesman added.
Roque clarified that the risk posed by the Delta variant has not waned.
"Delta is still here. What is important is we continue wearing face masks, washing our hands, observing physical distance, and administering vaccines," he said in Filipino.
Roque said IATF members were expected to discuss the guidelines on the use of face shields during their meeting on Thursday.
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