MANILA, Philippines – The wearing of face shields in all public transportation will no longer be mandatory in areas under COVID-19 Alert Level 1, 2, and 3, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Tuesday.
The DOTr made the announcement after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on the following protocols:
- For areas under Alert Level 5 and granular lockdowns, the use of face shields in community settings shall be mandatory;
- For areas under Alert Level 4, local government units (LGUs) and private establishments are given discretion to mandate the use of face shields; and
- For areas under Alert Levels 3, 2 and 1, the use of face shields shall be voluntary.
DOTr representative to the IATF-EID and Undersecretary for Administrative Services Artemio Tuazon Jr. said the department will immediately enforce the protocols on the use of face shields.
“In line with the directive issued by the IATF, which was also approved by the Palace, wearing of face shields in areas, where Alerts Level 1, 2 and 3 are in place, is no longer mandatory. It will be voluntary,” Tuazon said in a statement.
To recall, all passengers in any mode of public transportation were required to wear face shields, aside from face masks, effective August 1, 2020.
Meanwhile, despite the lifting of the mandatory use of face shields, the DOTr reminded that public that stringent preventive measures remain in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in all public transport facilities.
These include the mandatory wearing of face mask, strict enforcement of the social distancing measure, and frequent sanitation.
Talking and eating are likewise discouraged inside all public transportation, the DOTr added.
The government lifted the mandatory use of face shields in public areas amid declining cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines.