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Use of face shields now mandatory in malls, commercial establishments

The wearing of face shields and face masks is now required for people who wish to go to commercial establishments, like shopping malls, Malacañang said yesterday.

This developed after the National Task Force against the coronavirus disease 2019 decided to make the use of face shields mandatory not just in public transportation and in the workplace but also in enclosed spaces, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“Face shields should also be worn in enclosed commercial establishments, like malls,” Roque said in an interview with state-run PTV-4.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier mandated all passengers to wear face shields and face masks as protection against Covid-19.

The DOTr’s directive applies to all public transportation nationwide, including the aviation and airports, railways, road, and maritime sectors.

Apart from the DOTr, the Department of Labor and Employment also required the use of face shields in workplaces.

The initiative aims to reduce the further transmission of Covid-19 in the country.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has encouraged the public to use face shields to complement the wearing of face masks in low ventilation settings to lessen their chance of contracting the virus.

Malacañang, on July 31, announced that there was a plan to order the mandatory use of face shields nationwide.

However, the government has yet to issue an official order compelling the public to wear face shields whenever they leave their homes.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry can join the future meetings of IATF-EID, Roque said in reaction to the appeal of PCCI, the country’s largest business group, for the government to include the private sector in the IATF-EID.

“The Inter-Agency Task Force welcomes any group, organization, or individual, outside the members of the IATF, to join the discussion of any of its meetings,” Roque said in a press statement.

The PCCI Board of Directors on Thursday passed a resolution, urging the government to engage the private sector in consultations before coming up with new policies amid the country’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

PCCI president, ambassador Benedicto Yujuico, in a statement issued Thursday, said businesses are facing challenges, including the “impractical standards” in workplaces and inconsistent policies and regulations imposed by the local government on top of those implemented by IATF-EID.

Yujuico also noted that PCCI members have raised worry over the government’s apprehension to fully open the economy and the lack of coherent plans for enterprises allowed to operate amid the pandemic.*PNA

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April 2021

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