Face shields now mandatory in public places

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    THE wearing of face shield in public places, especially in crowded spaces like supermarkets, public markets, shopping malls, and ven­ues where government-initiated meetings and critical services are held or provided, is now man­datory as an additional safety protocol against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Malacañang said yesterday,

    Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) has issued Resolution 68 which con­tained the new directive.

    Roque said the task force has likewise enjoined local govern­ment units (LGU) to provide free face shields to their constituents with priority to be given to mem­bers of the vulnerable popula­tion, but subject to the availability of funds.

    The government has previ­ously mandated the wearing of face shields in all public trans­portation and work places as an additional safety measure to pro­tect individuals from contracting COVID-19.

    Aside from the mandatory use of face protection gears, IATF Resolution 68 also allowed the preparatory training in areas un­der general community quaran­tine (GCQ) and modified GCQ (MGCQ) of student athletes, sub­ject to health and safety protocols and guidelines to be issued by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

    “Iyung mga fans ng UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines), magpa-practice na po ang ating mga teams [To all UAAP fans, your favorites teams can now start practicing],” Roque said.

    The IATF decision came amid reports that two collegiate teams underwent athletic training despite the COVID-19 pandemic and in violation of community lockdown protocols. Resolution 68 likewise enjoined all government agencies to adopt a streamlined and digitized process in the delivery of government services and endorsed the adoption of the Anti-Red Tape Authority’s Guidelines on the Issuance and/ or Reinstitution of Permits and Licenses under the New Normal.

    It also adopted the guidelines on vaccine development in anticipation of the clinical trials that the country would participate in. The Philippines is one of the countries that will participate in the solidarity trial of the World Health Organization, as well as in independent trials by international firms and other countries.