Mandatory wearing of face shields in all places still being discussed by IATF, says Roque

The government is still studying if the wearing of face shields will be mandatory in all places as protection against the coronavirus, Malacañang said Thursday.

According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the proposed compulsory use of face shield even in public places is being discussed by the Inter-Agency Task Force of the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF), the government's policy making body on the coronavirus response.

Roque made the statement a day after announcing that face shields, alongside face masks, are now required in commercial places, indoor workplaces and public transportation.

"Pinag-uusapan pa yan sa IATF (It is still being discussed by the IATF)," Roque said during a televised briefing Thursday when asked if the government will require the use of face shields in all settings.

"Noong unang lumabas ang issue na ito,  ang napagkaisahan ay highly recommended muna ang face shield. Hanggang sa ni-require ng DOTr (Department of Transportation) sa pagsakay sa pampublikong transportation  at ni-require ng DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) sa workplace, so patuloy ang pag-uusap tungkol dito (When the issue first came out, we agreed that the use of face shields is highly recommended until the DOTr required it in public transportation and the DTI required it in workplaces. So the discussion on the matter will continue)," he said.

The Palace earlier urged passengers using public transportation to follow the DOTr's rule on wearing face shields for their own protection. The use of face shields alongside mask has been proven to help reduce a person’s exposure to coronavirus infection, according to Roque.

In workplaces, the DTIhas also required the use of face mask and shield when confined inside a room with more than one person, during meetings, and inside shuttle transport services.

Early this month, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced the government will promote the local production of face shields that will provide the people an extra layer of protection from the coronavirus infection.

Nograles explained that wearing a face shield can provide 99 percent protection from virus exposure if accompanied by other measures like wearing of face mask and practicing one-meter distancing from others.