The Philippine government has made mandatory the wearing of face shields nationwide, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said on Tuesday, nine months since the first community quarantine was imposed in the country.

In a Palace briefing, Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases made the directive to curb the spread of Covid-19 amid the holiday season.

The new mandatory face-shield-wearing protocol will be implemented alongside the face-mask-wearing requirement already imposed nationwide.

“Dahil malapit na po ang Pasko at Bagong Taon, alam naman natin na dadami ang mga tao na lalabas ng kanilang mga bahay at para mabawasan ang panganib na dala ng hawahan ng mga tao, niri-require na ng inyong IATF ang pagsuot [ng face shields],” Roque said.

Previously, face shields were only required in enclosed establishments like malls, workplaces and public transport.

“Pero ngayon po, kinakailangang isuot na kapareho ang face shield at ang face masks. At kinakailangan po full ang face shield, kasama iyong facemasks, ear loop masks, indigenous reusable or do-it-yourself masks or other protective equipment,” Roque added.

Face shields provide protection for the eyes and make it less likely for a person to touch his or her face.

Existing minimum public health standards now include wearing of masks and shields, frequent washing of hands and physical distancing. John Ezekiel J. Hirro