Starting today, August 15, passengers using all modes of public transportation will not be permitted to travel on land, sea, or air, unless they wear both face shields and face masks as protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This is in accordance with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Memorandum Circular 2020-014 issued on August 3, 2020.
On Wednesday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said employees will also be required to wear face shields in workplaces beginning August 15.
The use of a face shield and face mask while observing the onemeter social distancing has reduced the risk of contracting COVID-19 to at most 99%, health authorities said.
It also helps reduce infection rate by 93%. Hence, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) advocated for the use of face shields on top of face masks, along with observing social distancing as measures to lessen the chances of infection.
“No amount of protection is too much when it comes to health and safety, especially that we are battling an invisible enemy," stressed Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
He urged commuters to view the new requirement as another necessary layer of protection against the infection, rather than as an additional expense.
The National Center for Commuter’s Safety and Protection (NCCSP) also urged all commuters to abide by the DOTr requirement.
“Based on our data, many of the reported positive cases of COVID19 originated from users of public transportation,” says Chairperson Elvira Medina. (With a report from Leslie Ann G. Aquino)