Use of face shield, mask mandatory outside homes

Published December 15, 2020, 2:51 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Movement for leisure purposes not allowed in GCQ areas – IATF


The public will be required to wear face shields alongside their masks when going out of their houses as a precaution against the coronavirus infection or risk possible penalties, Malacañang announced Monday.

(JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The mandatory use of full face shields will provide an additional protection to help prevent the surge of coronavirus cases during the holiday season, according to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

Penalties may be slapped against violators of the new face shield rule based on the decision of the InterAgency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF).

The latest IATF decision was made in view of the face shields’ “effectiveness in reducing risk of transmission between persons.”

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

“LGUs are hereby enjoined to use IATF-endorsed contact-tracing and contact-monitoring applications (StaySafe.ph and TanodCOVID) where they are available or use community-based contact tracing and contact monitoring,” it added.

The task force urged concerned LGUs to issue the necessary executive order or ordinance to implement the latest order.

In August, people have been required to wear face shields in public transportation, workplaces and commercial establishments as protection from the COVID transmission.

A month later, the use of face shield was expanded when going to supermarkets, public markets, malls and in venues where government initiated meetings and critical government services are conducted.

The mandatory use of face shield is among the last efforts of the IATF “to immediately arrest and control the resurging community transmission of COVID-19 cases” during the holiday season.

Movement restricted In Resolution No. 88, the task force has “strongly” cautioned the public about their domestic travel and reiterated the quarantine guidelines, particularly the observance of minimum public health standards, especially in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

It said the movement of all persons in GCQ areas is limited to accessing essential goods and services, and for work in the offices or industries permitted to operate.

“Movement for leisure purposes shall not be allowed,” the task force said.

The IATF also reminded anew the public that mass gatherings such as movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment activities, community assemblies, and non-essential work gatherings are still prohibited.

Gatherings related to critical government services and authorized humanitarian activities, on the other hand, are allowed as long as minimum health standards are followed.

Religious gatherings

The task force also said religious gatherings in GCQ areas shall be allowed up to 30 percent of the seating capacity.

Such gatherings shall be limited to the conduct of religious worship and service.

“The religious denominations should strictly observe their submitted protocols and the minimum public health standards, particularly the social distancing measures and non-pharmaceutical interventions such as the obligatory wearing of face masks and immediate availability of hand hygiene necessities on the premises,” the IATF guidelines read.

In MGCQ areas, the task force reiterated that mass gatherings, including religious services and work conferences, are allowed provided that participants shall be limited to 50 percent of the seating or venue capacity.

 
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