Face shields not required outdoors – Malacañang

President Rodrigo Duterte's office clarified that face shields are not required in outdoor areas, ahead of a meeting to be presided by the Chief Executive regarding possible changes on face shield rules.

"Hindi na po kinakailangan ang face shield sa labas kasi hindi naman inapela 'yan ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases)," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday, June 21.

(Face shields are no longer required outdoors because that wasn't appealed by the IATF.)

"The IATF only appealed about the wearing of face shields indoors, including in malls, commercial establishments, and public transportation," Roque added.

This comes after a string of confusing announcements about the country's face shield guidelines.

Roque's latest statement appears to be a change of a policy he himself announced back in December 2020 that face shields would be required whenever individuals go out of their homes. The rule did not distinguish between outdoor and indoor spaces outside of residences.

IATF Resolution No. 88 formalized this rule. It reads: "All persons are mandated to wear full-coverage face shields together with face masks, earloop masks, indigenous, reusable, or do-it-yourself masks, or other facial protective equipment which can effectively lessen the transmission of COVID-19, whenever they go out of their residences (emphasis ours), pursuant to existing guidelines issued by the national government subject to fair and humane penalties or punishments that may be imposed by LGUs or implemented by law enforcement agencies, respectively."

However, Roque, on Monday, said he doesn't recall ever announcing such a rule.

"Alam mo, I never said that, kaya pagdating sa face shield nag-issue ako ng statement para walang hindi pagkakaintindihan," said the spokesman.

(You know, I never said that, that's why when it comes to face shields I issued a statement so there would be no misunderstanding.)

Will face shield rule change during meeting with Duterte?

More changes to the face shield policy are expected during Duterte's meeting later on Monday with pandemic task force officials.

The task force has recommended to the President that the face shield requirement be retained only in enclosed or indoor spaces of hospitals, schools, workplaces, commercial establishments like restaurants, malls, and public markets, public transportation, and places of worship. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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