Face shields can be removed during outdoor work and walks — health ministry

MANILA (AdChoiceTV News) — People are allowed to remove their face shields while working or walking outdoors, a health official said Wednesday.

“Ang face shields kailangan naman talaga iyan ‘pag nasa indoor ka, ‘pag nasa mall ka, pag may interaction ka na face-to-face sa inside,” Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said in a media briefing.

[Translation: Face shields are required when you are indoors, when you are in a mall, or interacting with others face-to-face inside an establishment.]

“Pag nasa outside naman kasi, alam naman natin ang risk of transmission is very low. Lalong lalo na ‘pag naglalakad ka lang sa kalye, o kaya nagtatrabaho ka kasi maka-affect iyong moist nito, pwede niyo ho tanggalin ‘yan,” he added.

[Translation: But we know the risk of transmission outside is very low, especially when you are just walking or working. The moisture on the face shield can affect one’s ability to work so you can take it off during the conduct of the activity.]

A joint memorandum circular on guidelines issued on Jan. 29 2021 by various government agencies, including the Department of Health, exempts the following from using face shields while outside of their homes:

-individuals whose safety or ability to work would be severely affected by visual or respiratory impairment due to face shield

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-those who wear goggles or other forms of eye protection for their work

-those who cannot remove face shields on their own, including people with medical conditions

-children below two years old

-those who are doing physical exercises (face shield should be worn before and after the activity)

-people who are eating in public spaces (face shield should be worn before and after the activity)

-passengers of motor vehicles (face shield should be worn before and after the ride)

Lifting the face shield policy?

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said the government could look into the proposals to drop the face shield rule once the country’s COVID-19 vaccination rate improves.

Duque made the remark after Senate President Tito Sotto asked him during a Senate hearing if they are considering discontinuing the use of face shields.

“Siguro, your honor, pagka malaki-laki na po ang coverage natin ng bakuna baka pwede na po nating pag-aralan ‘yun pong minumungkahi ng ibang mga grupo na baka pwedeng huwag na gumamit ng face shield,” the health chief told Sotto.

[Translation: Maybe, your honor, once our coverage improves, we can study the proposals of various groups to stop the use of face shields.]

But for now, he said, they are asking the public to continue wearing face shield as it provides another layer of protection.

In response, Sotto said the DOH must conduct the study now, and not wait for the situation to get better.

The Philippines, which has over 100 million people, has administered close to seven million COVID-19 vaccine doses, mostly as first shots, as of June 16, according to the latest DOH data.

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/ART — AdChoiceTV News

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